HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
If you flaunt it, you've got it: How red-heads top the pecking order

Red-headed finches dominate their black-headed and yellow-headed peers by physical aggression and by the mere fact of being red-headed, according to research published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society.

University of New South Wales biologists made the discovery following experiments with stunningly colourful Gouldian finches (Erythrura gouldiae). Among Australia's most endangered native birds, Gouldian finches are now restricted to small isolated populations across the tropical north.

The bird has a bright green upper body, blue rump, violet-purple chest, yellow breast and bright azure-blue collar. But its most distinctive feature is its head, which occurs in one of three discrete colours: red, yellow or black. This colour polymorphism makes the Gouldian finch unique, with three distinct forms all naturally occurring and inter-breeding in the same wild populations.

The scientist's first experiment aimed to reveal if there were behavioural differences between birds that related to the three head colours.

Observing contests between two unfamiliar males over access to food, they found that red-headed males were more aggressive and dominant than black-headed males, while both red and black-headed males dominated yellow-headed males.

In their second experiment, the scientists experimentally changed the head colours of the birds by dying them red or black to discover whether head colour was a communication "signal" between birds.

"Birds were reluctant to compete with opponents that had red dyed heads, demonstrating that they pay attention to this signal of dominance and use it to avoid getting into fights," says one of the study's authors, Dr Sarah Pryke, a Research Fellow in the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences.

"Red-headed birds that were temporarily dyed were still the most aggressive. This shows that red-heads are truly very aggressive and that it pays black- and yellow
'"/>

Contact: Dr Sarah Pryke
sarah.pryke@unsw.edu.au
61-431-746-276
University of New South Wales
21-Dec-2005


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. New strategy for treating allergic disorders
2. $9M grant awarded to University of Cincinnati for bipolar disorder research
3. Discoverer of Sly Syndrome finds way of delivering medicine to fight rare genetic disorder
4. New model for autism suggests women carry the disorder and explains age as a risk factor
5. A new method of adult stem cell growth efficacious in treatment of disorders of the cornea
6. Double identities lie behind chromosome disorders
7. Research without borders: Head of Santa Fe Institute to address NSF
8. Common cancer gene sends death order to tiny killer
9. Study finds regions of DNA that appear linked to autistic spectrum disorders
10. Genetic roots of bipolar disorder revealed by first genome-wide study of illness
11. Essential genes cluster clue to order in the genome

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/5/2016)... http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/5kvw8m/global_facial ) has ... Facial Recognition Market 2016-2020" report to ... has announced the addition of the ... to their offering. --> Research ... the addition of the "Global Facial ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... Sweden , February 4, 2016 --> ... amounted to SEK 1,351.5 M (105.0), up 1,187% compared with fourth quarter ... profit amounted to SEK 517.6 M (loss: 30.0). Earnings per ... operating activities was SEK 537.4 M (neg: 74.7). , ... , Revenues amounted to SEK 2,900.5 M (233.6), up 1,142% compared ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... 3, 2016 Vigilant Solutions announces today that ... Missouri solved two recent hit-and-run ... data from Vigilant Solutions. Brian Wenberg ... the victim was walking out of a convenience store and witnessed an elderly ... his vehicle, striking his vehicle and leaving the scene.  ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... -- The Maryland House of Delegates and House Speaker ... Maryland School of Medicine Dean E. Albert Reece ... System President and CEO Robert Chrencik , MBA, ... given to the public by the leader of the ... and Mr. Chrencik for their contributions to our statewide ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... Tarrytown, New York, and New York, New York (PRWEB) , ... ... ... Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) today announced that ... discover and develop new vaccines and immunotherapies for infectious diseases and cancer. ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... 10, 2016  Matchbook, Inc., a company specializing ... biotech companies, announced today the appointment of ... Jim brings nearly 25 years of experience in ... spent nearly two decades in executive level roles ... at Genzyme and, most recently headed global logistics ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... , ... LATHAM, NEW YORK... Marktech Optoelectronics will feature their new ... San Francisco’s Moscone Center from February 16-18, 2016, and at the healthcare-focused BiOS Expo ... PIN diode standard packages feature a TO-46 metal can with active areas of 1.0mm ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: