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:10/14/2014)... is how to produce enough food to feed the ... Agriculture Organization of the United Nations predicts that food ... to feed a growing global population, and plants are ... production. Plants—grains, cereals, fruits, vegetables, and more—feed humans ... must tap into our knowledge of how plants work ...
(Date:10/14/2014)... Montreal, October 14, 2014 – High doses of fish oil ... fibrillation, a common type of irregular heartbeat in which the ... The results of the AFFORD trial led by the Montreal ... American College of Cardiology on October 7th. , For ... antiarrhythmic therapy were randomly assigned to 4 grams of fish ...
(Date:10/14/2014)... – A team of scientists led by researchers ... and the University of Miami Miller School of ... key genetic pathway underlying bipolar (manic depressive) disorder, ... for treating bipolar affective disorder, as well as ... new findings, published online this week in Nature ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Building a bridge from basic botany to applied agriculture 2Building a bridge from basic botany to applied agriculture 3Rare genetic disease protects against bipolar disorder 2Rare genetic disease protects against bipolar disorder 3
(Date:10/22/2014)... 22, 2014 Involution Studios , ... of a new infographic, Understanding Ebola . ... beautifully designed, easy to follow informative tool for anyone ... outbreak, symptoms and prevention. , "As the news has ... 2014 Ebola outbreak represents not only a healthcare crisis ...
(Date:10/22/2014)... 22, 2014 Currently offering a ... & D Weighing, Rice Lake, and Ohaus, Pipette.com ... . The Sartorius CPA Semi-Micro Balance is ideal ... precise, and user-friendly laboratory balance. , Sartorius is ... their laboratory balances are well known for their ...
(Date:10/22/2014)... Physicians Choice Laboratory Services (PCLS) ... which enables healthcare providers to individualize therapeutic treatments ... results, healthcare providers are better able to assess ... minimizing risks for adverse drug reactions and interactions. ... FDA [1] more than 2.2 million adverse drug ...
(Date:10/22/2014)... , Oct. 22, 2014   Synthetic Biologics, Inc. ... pathogen-specific therapies for serious infections and diseases, announced today ... a Notice of Allowance for a composition of matter ... C. difficile program, SYN-004. This is Synthetic Biologics, ... the U.S. and adds to the Company,s extensive ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Involution Studios' Ebola Infographic Provides Key Disease Information and Statistics at a Glance 2Pipette.com Launches the Addition of Sartorius CPA Semi-Micro Balance to Their Product Portfolio with Special Promotional Pricing 2Pipette.com Launches the Addition of Sartorius CPA Semi-Micro Balance to Their Product Portfolio with Special Promotional Pricing 3PCLS Announces Expansion of Cardiovascular Pharmacogenetic Testing Menu 2PCLS Announces Expansion of Cardiovascular Pharmacogenetic Testing Menu 3Synthetic Biologics Announces Allowance of Key U.S. Composition of Matter Patent for C. difficile Program 2Synthetic Biologics Announces Allowance of Key U.S. Composition of Matter Patent for C. difficile Program 3Synthetic Biologics Announces Allowance of Key U.S. Composition of Matter Patent for C. difficile Program 4
Cached News: