Navigation Links
Tropical birds waited for land crossing between North and South America: UBC study
Date:12/9/2009

Despite their ability to fly, tropical birds waited until the formation of the land bridge between North and South America to move northward, according to a University of British Columbia study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

"While many North American birds simply flew across the marine barriers that once separated the continents, tropical birds, especially those in Amazon forest regions, began colonization of North America almost entirely after the completion of the land bridge," says lead author Jason Weir, who conducted the study as part of his PhD at UBC.

"This study is the most extensive evidence to date that shows the land bridge playing a key role in the interchange of bird species between North and South America and the abundant biodiversity in the tropical regions," says Weir, now a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Chicago.

The Isthmus of Panama land bridge was completed between three and four million years ago, and today consists of the country of Panama. It is believed to have initiated the Great American Biotic Interchange, bringing mammals that evolved uniquely in South America during its "island isolation" the armadillo, opossum and porcupine to North America.

Fossil records have shown that mammalian species also travelled across the land bridge from North to South America, increasing biodiversity in the tropical regions. "But a lack of bird fossils has made it difficult to determine if the land bridge was equally instrumental in the interchange of avian species," says Weir.

By analyzing the DNA of 457 bird species on either side of the land bridge, Weir and colleagues at UBC and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama were able to reconstruct a "family tree" of species closely related to one another and revealed a "hidden chapter" in the impact of the land bridge to biodiversity. They found a dramatic increase in the rates of interchange after the land bridge completion.

"This is a bit surprising," says co-author Dolph Schluter, UBC zoology professor and Canada Research Chair in Evolutionary Biology. "Couldn't the birds have flown across the gap? Some did, but most tropical birds waited for the land crossing."

The researchers believe the inability of many tropical birds to fly long distances across open water some are reluctant even to cross rivers as narrow as 200 metres may have contributed to the few north-bound movements prior to the land bridge completion.


'/>"/>

Contact: Brian Lin
brian.lin@ubc.ca
604-822-2234
University of British Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Tropical forests affected by habitat fragmentation store less biomass and carbon dioxide
2. Plant fossils give first real picture of earliest Neotropical rainforests
3. Global warming threatens tropical species, the ecosystem and its by-products
4. Coralline algae in the Mediterranean lost their tropical element between 5 and 7 million years ago
5. New guide to tropical seedlings: Essential to climate change research
6. Australias climate: Drought and flooding in annual rings of tropical trees
7. Live-in domestics: Mites as maids in tropical rainforest sweat bee nests
8. Biological control of tropical weeds using arthropods
9. AAAS Symposium: Emerging threats to tropical, temperate and ocean ecosystems
10. Scientists use lasers to measure changes to tropical forests
11. Lifecycles of tropical cyclones predicted in global computer model
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/21/2016)... January 21, 2016 ... new market research report "Emotion Detection and Recognition Market by ... Tools (Facial Expression, Voice Recognition and Others), Services, ... forecast to 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, the global ... reach USD 22.65 Billion by 2020, at a ...
(Date:1/20/2016)... Jan. 20, 2016  Synaptics Incorporated (NASDAQ: ... solutions, today announced sampling of S1423, its newest ... and small screen applications including smartwatches, fitness trackers, ... round and rectangular shapes, as well as thick ... with moisture on screen, while wearing gloves, and ...
(Date:1/13/2016)... 13, 2016 --> ... new market report titled - Biometric Sensors Market - Global ... - 2023. According to the report, the global biometric sensors market was ... to reach US$1,625.8 mn by 2023, expanding at a ... of volume, the biometric sensors market is expected to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... Clinovo , the cloud-based ... Electronic Data Capture (EDC) system ClinCaptureand its new Contract Research Organization (CRO) Partner ... Conference in San Mateo, California on February 10th and 11th. Watch 2-min ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... The publishing industry has ... publishing is one of the popular publication models that has received wider acknowledgement ... and 3000+ International Conferences across the globe, OMICS International is all ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... NEW YORK , Feb. 9, 2016 ... market analyzes the current and future prospects of the ... of this report include companies engaged in the manufacture ... comprises an executive summary with a market snapshot providing ... the scope of this report. This section also provides ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... , Feb. 9, 2016 BERG, a ... biological research approach, has announced the appointment of ... and Chief Operating Officer. Haddock brings to BERG ... including 12 years in senior financial functions at ... in business organizational management. Niven ...
Breaking Biology Technology: