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Why some birds think simple songs are sexy
Date:11/1/2011

sery frogs had been marooned in these peripheral patches with thousands of years to evolve in isolation, then genetic and phenotypic differences might be detectable in modern populations. And that's exactly what Hoskin and his team found. Using genetic profiling, the researchers found that modern nursery frogs come from three distinct lineages that correspond geographically with the ice age forest patterna large lineage living in the central part of the region, and two smaller lineages to the north and south. The lineages differ substantially in body size and each has a distinct mating call. They also don't seem to interbreed much, which means they likely now represent different species. "The research shows that climactic fluctuations can drive diversification, particularly where populations persist in tiny refugia peripheral to core refugial areas," Dr. Hoskin said.

Conrad J. Hoskin, Maria Tonione, Megan Higgie, Jason B. MacKenzie, Stephen E. Williams, Jeremy VanDerWal, and Craig Moritz, "Persistence in Peripheral Refugia Promotes Phenotypic Divergence and Speciation in a Rainforest Frog"


Hatching from a cold egg could lead to permanent problems

A cold start can mean a permanent setback for some birds, according to a study by Andreas Nord and Jan-ke Nilsson of Lund University in Sweden. The researchers studied blue tits, a small bird common across Europe, to see how incubation temperature influences a bird's development. Nord and Nilsson replaced eggs in natural nests with plaster ones. They brought the real eggs back to the lab, where they incubated them at different temperatures. Just before the eggs hatched, they were placed back in their nests for the mothers to raise, while Nord and Nilsson tracked growth and development of each hatchling. They found that the chicks incubated at lower temperatures were less likely to survive. Those that did survive tended to be smaller and develop more slowly. "Surpris
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Contact: Kevin Stacey
kstacey@press.uchicago.edu
401-284-3878
University of Chicago Press Journals
Source:Eurekalert  

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