Navigation Links
Ancient birds from North America colonized the South
Date:7/13/2010

Scientists studying ancient species migration believe northern birds had the ability to colonise continents that southern species lacked. The research, published in Ecography, reveals how the ancient 'land bridge' of Panama, which first connected North and South America, caused an uneven species migration, leading to a new understanding of species diversity today.

The continents of North and South America were historically isolated until they were abruptly joined three million years ago through the tectonic uplift of Central America and the formation of a land corridor in modern day Panama, creating a land bridge.

"This connection allowed an unprecedented degree of intercontinental exchange between species that had been isolated for millions of years," said lead author Brian Tilston Smith from the University of Nevada. "However the relatively poor fossil record has prevented us from understanding how the land bridge shaped New World bird communities."

Using molecular data and phylogenetic evidence from 11 orders, 34 families, and over 100 genera of bird species the team applied a 'molecular clock' to estimate the historical timing of the migration, giving a unique insight into how the ancient history of American bird migration led to present day species diversity across the equator.

The results reveal that while ancient birds could fly most species did not cross the water between the two isolated continents, so were subject to the same constraints as their land based mammalian counterparts. The land bridge was therefore crucial in facilitating cross continental migration.

"This inter-continental migration was far from even. While within the tropics around the equator exchange was equal in both directions, between the temperate zones of North and South America it was not," said Smith. "Avian lineages from the northern Nearctic regions have repeatedly invaded the tropics and radiated throughout South America. In contract species with South American tropical origins remain largely restricted to the confines of the tropical regions."

Existing studies show that in mammals 50% of modern South American species have Northern origins whereas only 10% of species from the North originated in the South. The team found that this pattern is also reflected in birds. When considering the perching birds oscine and suboscine the team found that despite having northern ancestral origins, 55% of New World oscine species now breed in South America, many of them in tropical habitats. In contrast, only 2.4% of suboscines have secondarily adapted to North American temperate zone habitats.

"Our study suggests the formation of the Panama land bridge was crucial for allowing cross continental bird migration," concluded Smith. "We believe that the ability of species to colonise and radiate across this area represents an important and underappreciated factor to the distribution of species around the equator."


'/>"/>

Contact: Ben Norman
Lifesciencenews@wiley.com
44-012-437-70375
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Man-made global warming started with ancient hunters
2. Scientists discover ancient viral invasion that shaped human genome
3. Revealing the ancient Chinese secret of sticky rice mortar
4. Lake-bed trails tell ancient fish story
5. Research shows part of Alaska inundated by ancient megafloods
6. Ancient artifacts reveals as northern ice patches melt
7. Ancient Americans took cold snap in their stride
8. Rare body parts find provides vital clues to identity of ancient fossil
9. Ancient corals hold new hope for reefs
10. Ancient remains put teeth into Barker hypothesis
11. UF researchers: Ancient crocodile relative likely food source for Titanoboa
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Ancient birds from North America colonized the South
(Date:6/22/2016)... -- On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ... for the Biometric Exit Program. The Request for Information ... explains that CBP intends to add biometrics to confirm ... States , in order to deter visa overstays, ... Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382209LOGO ...
(Date:6/16/2016)... , June 16, 2016 ... is expected to reach USD 1.83 billion by ... View Research, Inc. Technological proliferation and increasing demand ... are expected to drive the market growth. ... The development of advanced multimodal techniques ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... -- Paris Police Prefecture ... to ensure the safety of people and operations in several ... tournament Teleste, an international technology group specialised in ... that its video security solution will be utilised by ... safety across the country. The system roll-out is scheduled for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)...  The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) today announced ... SM —the largest and most comprehensive study driving new ... be presented at the 58 th American Society ... San Diego from December 3-6. The ... well as identify pathways and targets for new drug ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... 01, 2016 , ... ACEA Biosciences, Inc. announced today that it will be ... at the World Conference on Lung Cancer 2016, taking place in Vienna, Austria December ... clinical trials for AC0010 in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer harboring the ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... ... The Conference Forum has announced that the 3rd annual Immuno-Oncology 360° ... 1-3, 2017 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. Led by advisors Dr ... approach, which addresses the most up-to-date information regarding business aspects, clinical advancements and scientific ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... ... Robots will storm the Prudential Center in Boston, MA during the ... held on the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities, will highlight the ... Technologies is partnering with NTI to showcase how technology can help individuals with severe ...
Breaking Biology Technology: