Navigation Links
The evolution of migration
Date:8/4/2014

Each year, millions of birds migrate thousands of miles between the locations where they breed and raise young, and the areas where they spend the winter. Each migration is a trip fraught with dangermany birds die before they reach their final destination. To scientists, long distance migration still holds many mysteries, one of which is: where did migration begin and how did it evolve? This question has long been a debated topic among scientists, but thanks to new research from Field Museum scientists, we may have an answer for one of the largest groups of migratory birds. The scientists' research will be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Traditionally, there have been two schools of thought: one, that ancestors of migratory birds spent the whole year in North America and evolved migration by moving their winter range to the tropics. The other theory suggested that these ancestors were originally found in the tropics, and evolved migration by moving breeding grounds to more temperate locales like North America.

To uncover this mystery of migration Resident Graduate Student Ben Winger (University of Chicago) and Associate Curator of Botany Rick Ree created a model to infer how the breeding and winter ranges of migratory species changed through time. They applied the model to a large group of migratory birds that include warblers, cardinals, sparrows, tanagers, orioles, and others. The model uses a phylogeny (a "family tree" of species that depicts their evolutionary relationships), which was contributed by co-author Keith Barker, a former Field Museum graduate student now at the University of Minnesota.

"We named it the 'domino model' because the breeding and winter ranges of species were coded in 3x2 grids of binary values, like dots on domino pieces. The computational challenge was to reconstruct the most probable evolutionary shifts from one domino to another," explains Ree. Tracing back through time and examining common ancestors of migratory and non-migratory species, they were able to conclude that there was more evidence supporting the idea that birds lived year-round in North America and began migrating further and further south, resulting in today's birds migrating thousands of miles every year.

Another result of the study suggests that many tropical species of birds are descendants of migratory ancestors that lost migration and stayed in the tropics year-round. "This is an interesting result because species diversity in this group is much higher in the tropics. Previously, more species in the tropics led to the assumption that temperate, migratory species are derived from tropical, nonmigratory ancestors; however, the results of our phylogenetic study suggest that the opposite pattern happened often in this group."


'/>"/>
Contact: Emily Waldren
media@fieldmuseum.org
312-665-7107
Field Museum
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Leading evolutionary scientist to discuss how genome of bacteria has evolved
2. An evolutionary surprise
3. Ancient Egyptian cotton unveils secrets of domesticated crop evolution
4. Did climate change shape human evolution?
5. A University of Tennessee professors hypothesis may be game changer for evolutionary theory
6. Analysis of stickleback genome sequence catches evolution in action
7. Study shows unified process of evolution in bacteria and sexual eukaryotes
8. Rapid method of assembling new gene-editing tool could revolutionize genetic research
9. Whats in a surname? New study explores what the evolution of names reveals about China
10. Scientists trace evolutionary history of what mammals eat
11. Not by DNA alone: How the epigenetics revolution is fostering new medicines
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
The evolution of migration
(Date:4/11/2017)... Apr. 11, 2017 Research and Markets has ... report to their offering. ... The global eye tracking market to grow at a CAGR of ... Eye Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth ... market landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. The ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017  The Allen Institute for ... Cell Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window ... imaging data, the first application of deep learning to ... stem cell lines and a growing suite of powerful ... for these and future publicly available resources created and ...
(Date:4/3/2017)... 2017  Data captured by IsoCode, IsoPlexis ... a statistically significant association between the potency ... and objective response of cancer patients post-treatment. ... whether cancer patients will respond to CAR-T ... as to improve both pre-infusion potency testing and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... process optimization firm for the life sciences and healthcare industries, announces a presentation ... San Francisco. , The presentation, “Automating GxP Validation for Agile Cloud Platforms,” will ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... , Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech Holdings announced ... by which its ProCell stem cell therapy prevents ... ischemia.  The Company, demonstrated that treatment with ProCell ... limbs saved as compared to standard bone marrow ... HGF resulted in reduction of therapeutic effect.  ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... At its national board meeting in North ... in Harvard University’s Departments of Physics and Astronomy, has been selected for membership in ... winning team for the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental physics for the discovery of ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... October 5, 2017, in the medical journal, Epilepsia, Brain Sentinel’s SPEAC® System ... standard, video EEG, in detecting generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) using surface electromyography ...
Breaking Biology Technology: