Tag: "finches" at biology news

The birth of a beak

...ies of evolution, showing that while the Galapagos finches had most likely descended from a common ancestor, ...ooked at molecular differences among the Galapagos finches themselves, also identified BMP4 as a major mediator of beak shape in a variety of finch species. To...

Songbirds escaped from Australasia, conquered rest of world

...bins, cardinals, blackbirds, house sparrows, house finches and crows. The group is further divided into birds that must learn their songs "true songbirds") and those with the innate ability to sing the "correct" song. True songbirds account for 4,580 of the 6,000 known Passeriformes species. (There is a tota...

Study helps explain island populations' susceptibility to exotic diseases

...RBOR, Mich.---Researchers have shown that Darwin's finches on smaller islands in the Galapagos archipelago have weaker immune responses to disease and foreign pathogens---findings that could help explain why island populations worldwide are particularly susceptible to disease. A paper, written by University...

Chatty finches

...uman sequence. They found that the FoxP2 gene from finches was extremely similar to the human version, but di...s around the time of song learning, which in zebra finches occurs just once during development, but recurs seasonally in canaries. "We could show that FoxP2 le...

Bird's song may be linked to speech disorders

...learned vocalizations in other species. Male zebra finches learn to sing a courtship song that their female c... UCLA graduate student of neuroscience. Male zebra finches are sexually mature 100 days after birth, and have learned their courtship song by then, starting ab...

Bright beaks provide honest look at male immune system, Science study says

...cotland, UK. His research team found that the male finches with the reddest beaks received the most sexual in...m supplemented the diet of one group of male zebra finches with carotenoid pigments and measured the effects of their elevated carotenoid levels on immune func...

Ecological significance of tool-use in the woodpecker finch Cactospiza pallida

The Woodpecker finch, one of 14 Darwin's finches of the Galapagos Islands, uses twigs or cactus spi...levance of tool-use by a bird species. Woodpecker finches hardly use tools in humid areas where food is abundant and easily accessible. In contrast, in arid c...

Songbirds use mental pointer when playing tunes

...ntal pointers" are produced in the brains of zebra finches while they sing, and also while they dream about, ...e published Sept. 5 in the journal Nature. Zebra finches have only one song that lasts about a second. At one month old, a finch first tries to sing a song t...

Unwanted HRT playing havoc with songbirds

...hey can change the brain circuitry of female zebra finches by injecting them with oestrogen shortly after bir...rew into adults, the researchers found that female finches fed on oestradiol started to sing, as did the males. The team then dissected the birds' brains, and ...

Living in large groups could give you a better memory

...rk and his colleagues decided to study adult zebra finches to see whether their social conditions affect the survival rate of these new neurons. They injected the birds with a radioactive form of thymidine-a marker to track new neurons-and placed the birds in three different settings: either alone, with anot...

Across the countryside: How ecology predicts the movement of parasites and disease

...n examines a prominent new disease affecting house finches which has led to a 60% decline in their abundance in the eastern US. Entitled Spatial and temporal dynamics of an emerging pathogen in an introduced host: mycoplasmal conjunctivitis in house finches, the presenters include Sonia Altizer of Cornell U...

Galapagos finches sing different mating songs due to evolutionary diversification of beaks, says UMass biologist

...fferent courting songs sung by the famous Darwin's finches of the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, may be shaped b...na and the National Science Foundation. Darwin's finches are a textbook example of what scientists call "adaptive radiation," in which a group of closely rel...

How stress maintains population levels

...rom a study of mycoplasmal conjunctivitis in house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) that was published May 2, i...data showed that high-density populations of house finches that became infected with mycoplasmal conjunctivitis experienced a dramatic drop in numbers within t...

Don't slight the birdbrain

...they have coaxed high-level neurons in adult zebra finches to be replaced by the bird's endogenous precursor ...spring, the canaries learn their songs anew. Zebra finches lack this seasonal cycle; their brains generate a constant yet tiny trickle of new neurons. This mo...

Rapid size change in introduced fruit fly indicates it is evolving as it invades North America

...introduced species. In that case, Galapagos Island finches were subjected to a severe drought in 1978. Only finches with big, massive bills survived and passed that trait to the next generation. He said that D. subo...

Birds beware! Pinecones armed and dangerous

... as strongerlegs and reshaped mouthparts allow the finches greater perching and seedretrieval skills. Many other predators would have less success obtaining seeds,making the pine cones' defenses even more effective. "The most significant element of this study," says the researcher, "is theintegration of exp...

At Night, Birds May Review The Songs They Learn During The Day

Zebra finches in a University of Chicago lab are providing strong evidence thatsleep plays an important role in learning. Researchers have shown that whileyoung birds sleep at night, they may be reviewing the songs they've learned fromtheir parents during the day....

Widespread Genus Of Monkeys Gives Up Genealogical Secrets To Columbia Researchers

... and body. In manyways, macaques are the Darwin's finches of the primate world." In external appearance, the macaque family has no common definingfeature, leading to considerable confusion when appearance has been used toclassify them. There has even been some debate on whether macaques are a sing...

How Birds Sing

...orm the musical instructions by outfitting 13 male finches with special headgear with brain electrodes. The four electrodes were poised above a region called the HVc, known to be part of the bird's song production system, or another region called the RA, a subordinate region that receives input from the HVc ...

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