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:4/17/2014)... , Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a leading ... illness in very young and elderly populations. Despite ... host cells through the fusion protein RSV F, ... peptides that prevent bundle formation limit RSV infection ... to degradation. In this issue of the ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... Luca Razzari of the nergie Matriaux Tlcommunications Research ... the John R. Evans Leaders Fund of the ... of state-of-the-art biotech and nanophotonics equipment. To this ... Ministre de l,Enseignement suprieur, de la Recherche, de ... new laboratories will help us develop new approaches ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... need to produce hydrogen sulfide in order to properly ... study from the Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology at ... Professor Songtao Shi, principal investigator on the project, said ... governs the flow of calcium ions. The essential ions ... osteogenesis, or the creation of new bone tissue, and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):JCI online ahead of print table of contents for April 17, 2014 2JCI online ahead of print table of contents for April 17, 2014 3JCI online ahead of print table of contents for April 17, 2014 4JCI online ahead of print table of contents for April 17, 2014 5JCI online ahead of print table of contents for April 17, 2014 6New state-of-the-art biotech and nanotech equipment for INRS 2
(Date:1/15/2014)... is the device," Nobel laureate Herbert Kroemer famously ... found at the junctures where layers of different ... the interfaces between layers of metal oxides are ... favorites as spintronics, high-temperature superconductors, ferroelectrics and multiferroics. ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... (PRWEB) January 15, 2014 Look inside ... hard-working items for the lab, from fluid handling to ... (GIS)—ready to ship when you order. , Preferred ... Pumps , from the L/S® model for precise flow ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... 15, 2014 This webinar will focus ... clinical safety assessment in biosimilars. , Regulatory frameworks are ... drug development, however the complex nature of biopharmaceuticals makes ... and efficacy extremely challenging. Based on the specific aspects ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... NY (PRWEB) January 15, 2014 The Microcompetition ... a major disease. One of these latent viruses is the ... rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory ... theory, a study found that RA patients have high concentrations ...
Breaking Biology Technology:A deeper look at interfaces 2Cole-Parmer Begins 2014 with the Release of Preferred Solutions 2Xtalks Life Sciences Webinar Examines Safety Assessment of Biosimilars 2Study: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Patients Have EBV; The CBCD Says this is Consistent with Microcompetition 2Study: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Patients Have EBV; The CBCD Says this is Consistent with Microcompetition 3
Cached News: