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:3/20/2017)... At this year,s CeBIT Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel visited the ... the DERMALOG stand together with the Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe. ... largest German biometrics company the two government leaders could see the three ... as DERMALOG´s multi-biometrics system.   Continue Reading ... ...
(Date:3/16/2017)... CeBIT 2017 - Against identity fraud with DERMALOG solutions "Made in Germany ... ... in one project, multi-biometric solutions provide a crucial contribution against identity fraud. (PRNewsFoto/Dermalog Identification Systems) ... Used combined in one project, multi-biometric solutions provide a crucial ... ...
(Date:3/9/2017)... , Australia , March 9, 2017 ... data at the prestigious World Lung Imaging Workshop at ... Andreas Fouras , was invited to deliver the latest ... medicine. This globally recognised event brings together leaders at ... the latest developments in lung imaging. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/21/2017)... TX (PRWEB) , ... April 21, 2017 , ... Having ... than a year, Formaspace is pleased to introduce it to top lab design architects ... Formaspace CEO Jeff Turk and VP of Industrial Design and Engineering Greg Casey will ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... Frederick ... a range of emerging bio and technology start-ups, is hosting “Celebration Friday” (a ... double event will start with libations and networking at 3:30 p.m. at FITCI’s ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... -- Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY ) ... prevention of migraine at the American Academy of Neurology ... 2017, in Boston . ... safety and patient outcomes data for galcanezumab in patients ... monthly migraine headache days among patients with episodic migraine. ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - Prometic Life Sciences Inc. (TSX: PLI) (OTCQX: ... the International Liver Congress ("ILC") 2017 of the European Association ... Amsterdam on the positive effects of PBI-4050 on ... obesity and metabolic syndrome. ... According to Dr. Lyne Gagnon, Vice-President of R&D Pre-clinical of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: