Why migrate? It's not for the fruit

Why do some birds fly thousands of miles back and forth between breeding and non-breeding areas every year whereas others never travel at all? One textbook explanation suggests that eating fruit or living in nonforested environments were the precursors needed to evolve migratory behavior. Not so, report ecologists W. Alice Boyle and Courtney J. Conway of the University of Arizona, Tucson, in the March issue of the American Naturalist. Conway is also a research scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey. The two showed the pressure to migrate comes from seasonal food scarcity. It's the first time the technique called phylogenetic independent contrasts has been used to identify the causes of bird migration. "It's not just whether you eat insects, fruit, or candy bars, or where you eat them it matters how reliable that food source is from day-to-day," Boyle said. "For example, some really long-distance migrants like Arctic Terns are not fruit-eaters."

The new research indicates that one strategy for dealing with seasonal changes in food availability is migration. The team also found that birds that forage with others of the same species are less likely to migrate. "Flocking can be an alternative way of dealing with food shortages," Boyle said. When birds band together to search for food, the group is more likely to find a new patch of food than is one lone individual. To figure out the underlying pressures that drive some birds to leave home for the season, Boyle and Conway focused on 379 species of New World flycatchers from the suborder Tyranni. For all those species the scientists compared the species' size, food type, habitat, migratory behavior, and whether the birds fed in flocks. A universal assumption about bird migration has been that short-distance migration is an evolutionary stepping stone to long-distance migration. The team's work contradicts that idea by showing that short-distance migrants are inherently different from their globe-trotting

Contact: Patricia Morse
University of Chicago Press Journals

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Why do birds migrate?
2. Native fruits bear sweet antioxidants
3. Super fruit fly may lead to healthier humans
4. Do fruit flies have free will?
5. Berkeley Lab Life Sciences division awarded NIH grants for fruit fly, nematode studies
6. Similar brain chemicals influence aggression in fruit flies and humans
7. Researcher focuses on pros, cons of antioxidants from fruits and vegetables
8. Neighbors gone, fruits gone, species gone
9. A frenzy of fruit fly methods featured in Cold Spring Harbor Protocols
10. Fatal attraction: Elephants and marula fruit
11. Researchers find link between food odors and lifespan in fruit flies

Post Your Comments:

(Date:8/1/2019)... ... July 31, 2019 , ... ... the launch of the next generation of its FLIPR® Penta High-Throughput Cellular Screening ... industry-leading FLIPR® platform for monitoring of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and ion channels, offering ...
(Date:7/24/2019)... ... July 24, 2019 , ... NDA ... a quality assurance expert with more than 20 years of experience working in ... has joined the firm as an Expert Consultant. , Dr. Hartzfeld has experience ...
(Date:7/19/2019)... ... July 18, 2019 , ... VetStem Biopharma has long been a ... As a result of a two-year research collaboration with Calidi Biotherapeutics, VetStem has signed ... veterinary medicine. VetStem should be able to fast-track this cancer therapy for use ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/26/2019)... ... 25, 2019 , ... LeadingBiotech , an exclusive event ... its Boston BD conference to be held on September 10, 2019, ... , the event provides an opportunity for attendees to leverage insight from real-life ...
(Date:7/19/2019)... ... July 18, 2019 , ... Global precision motion and piezo ... piezo motion facilities in Lederhose, Germany, increasing their current footprint by half again. ... production in addition to general office space, a significant increase to its existing ...
(Date:7/17/2019)... COLLEGE PARK, Md. (PRWEB) , ... July 15, 2019 , ... ... cut DNA so that a certain trait can be removed, replaced, or edited, but ... Maryland, is looking far beyond these traditional applications in his latest publication in Nature ...
(Date:7/17/2019)... ... July 16, 2019 , ... Quidel ... report from Kalorama Information. Abbott, Roche and Siemens Healthineers and Response Biomedical also ... report, Worldwide Market for Point-of-Care (POC) Diagnostics . , Quidel is a ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: