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:
TAG: you flaunt you got How red heads top the pecking order

(Date:8/11/2015)... August 11, 2015 Today, ZUK announced its ... as well as expected revenues in 2015 that relate to sales ... revenue guidance of approximately 2,200 MSEK for 2015. Jörgen ... prominent smartphone manufacturer in China ... selected FPC1 155 for Z1 ...
(Date:8/6/2015)... Germany , August 6, 2015 ... (SMI) shows the world,s first Eye Tracking ... Epson,s Moverio BT-200 see-through head mounted display and on ... unprecedented quality and efficiency is brought to personalized visualization ... the first time, professionals and researchers can integrate gaze, ...
(Date:8/5/2015)... , Aug. 5, 2015 The biosensors market ... in applications, penetration into newer sectors, and development of ... global biosensors space has seen the entry of multiple ... so far. (Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150805/255570 ) ... Analysis of the Global Biosensors Market ( ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):FPC's Touch Fingerprint Sensor FPC1155 in ZUK's Smartphone Z1 2SMI Shows First Eye Tracking Upgrade for Augmented Reality Glasses 2SMI Shows First Eye Tracking Upgrade for Augmented Reality Glasses 3Innovative Biosensors Incite Use in Non-Traditional Applications 2Innovative Biosensors Incite Use in Non-Traditional Applications 3Innovative Biosensors Incite Use in Non-Traditional Applications 4
(Date:8/31/2015)... , Aug. 31, 2015  For people with Down ... their day. The biotechnology company, located in the Science ... of the best potential therapies yet for people with Down ... " Correction of Down syndrome and Edwards syndrome aneuploidies ... DNA Research . Elixirgen plans to develop this ...
(Date:8/31/2015)... 31, 2015 FLX Bio, Inc., a biopharmaceutical ... cancer immunotherapies, announced today that it has appointed ... and William Ho , M.D., Ph.D., as Chief ... management team led by veterans of Flexus Biosciences, Inc., ... Scientific Officer; Jay Powers , Ph.D., Vice President, ...
(Date:8/31/2015)... ... August 31, 2015 , ... There’s a new treatment option for excessive menstrual ... available new FDA approved system in the last 14 years, and the only endometrial ... (zero bleeding) rate of 66%, the high Patient Satisfaction rate of 98%, and the ...
(Date:8/28/2015)... ... August 28, 2015 , ... ... presented two studies at the International Spine Intervention Society’ s 23rd ... through to August 1st, 2015. With a focus on evidence-based research and clinical ...
Breaking Biology Technology:New Down syndrome therapy discovered 2FLX Bio Announces Senior Management Hires and Initiation of Phase 1 Trial of FLX925 2FLX Bio Announces Senior Management Hires and Initiation of Phase 1 Trial of FLX925 3FLX Bio Announces Senior Management Hires and Initiation of Phase 1 Trial of FLX925 4U.S. FDA Approves Minerva Endometrial Ablation System 2U.S. FDA Approves Minerva Endometrial Ablation System 3Proove Biosciences Presents New Research Study at the International Spine Intervention Society’s Annual Scientific Meeting 2Proove Biosciences Presents New Research Study at the International Spine Intervention Society’s Annual Scientific Meeting 3Proove Biosciences Presents New Research Study at the International Spine Intervention Society’s Annual Scientific Meeting 4
Cached News: