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:3/6/2017)... 6, 2017 Mintigo , the ... announced Predictive Sales Coach TM , its new ... intelligence into Salesforce. This unique AI application will ... organizations with deep knowledge of their customers and ... engagement. Predictive Sales Coach extends Mintigo,s existing customer ...
(Date:3/2/2017)... , March 2, 2017 Australian stem cell ... (ASX: CYP), has signed an agreement with the Monash ... Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Department of Pharmacology at ... a further preclinical study to support the use of ... asthma.  Asthma is a chronic, long ...
(Date:2/28/2017)... 27. Februar 2017  EyeLock LLC, ein marktführendes Unternehmen ... erstklassige biometrische Lösung zur Iris-Erkennung auf der ... LTE auf dem Mobile World Congress 2017 ... in Halle 3, Stand 3E10, vorstellen. ... Qualcomm Haven™ – eine Kombination aus Hardware, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017 NetworkNewsWire Editorial ... ... putting significant strain on health care systems, in terms of ... rises, so too does the development of innovative and efficient ... effects. Among the many types of cancer treatments, a growing ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... Advanced Polymer Monitoring Technologies (APMT), ... Sigmund “Sig” Floyd as Vice President ? Global Business Development. Dr. Floyd will ... “Dr. Floyd’s career has spanned 30 years in the chemicals and equipment industries. ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 2017  UBM and the Massachusetts Medical Device ... partnership and the third annual Massachusetts Medtech Week. Massachusetts ... st Annual MassMEDIC Conference held in conjunction ... 2017. MassMEDIC will feature a ... and CEO, Scott Whitaker , at its ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... York , March 22, 2017 ... largely fragmented, states a research report by Transparency Market ... Pfizer Inc., Amgen Inc., and AbbVie Inc., accounted for ... 2015. The prominent players in this market are focusing ... their product portfolio, which is likely to lead to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: