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:3/2/2017)... Summary This report provides all the information ... partnering interests and activities since 2010. Download the ... Deals and Alliance since 2010 report provides an in-depth ... world,s leading life sciences companies. On demand ... of the most up to date deal and company ...
(Date:3/2/2017)... MELBOURNE, Australia , March 2, 2017 ... Therapeutics Ltd (ASX: CYP), has signed an agreement ... researchers from the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Department ... , to conduct a further preclinical study to support ... the treatment of asthma.  Asthma is ...
(Date:2/28/2017)... 28, 2017   Acuant , a leading provider ... significant enhancements to new and core technologies building upon ... include mobile and desktop Acuant FRM TM facial ... a real time manual review of identity documents by ... the fastest and most accurate capture software to streamline ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/24/2017)... YORK , March 24, 2017 ... ended the trading session at 5,817.69, down 0.07%; the ... at 20,656.58; and the S&P 500 closed at 2,345.96, ... as 4 sectors closed in green, 4 sectors finished ... day. This Friday, Stock-Callers.com has initiated reports coverage on ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... Mar 23, 2017 Research and Markets ... Markets" report to their offering. ... The Global Market for ... in 2016 at a CAGR of 8.9%, ... non-energetic bioproducts into seven major product segments: bio-derived chemicals, biofuels, ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... Branford, CT (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 ... ... Counsel, LLC, was recently selected by the Connecticut Technology Council (CTC) as a ... honored at CTC’s thirteenth annual Women of Innovation Awards Dinner. , The dinner ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... In today,s pre-market research, Stock-Callers.com ... Biotech industry: Sangamo Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: SGMO), Eyegate Pharmaceuticals ... and Regulus Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: RGLS ). ... its rating on Pharmaceuticals/Biotechnology to "Overweight" from "Market Weight." Learn more ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: