As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Researchers map the epic evolution of a 'ring species'

The Greenish Warbler, long considered an idealized example of a single species that diverged into two as it expanded its range, has a much more checkered family history than biologists previously realized.

Ring species are a continuous loop of related populations, each adapted to its local environment, with two terminal populations in the loop meeting but now unable to mate. But an in-depth genomic analysis published today in Nature by University of British Columbia researchers reveals that the Greenish Warbler's genetic migration through central Asia involved periods of geographic separation and hybridization.

"We've shown that the evolution of ring species is much more complex than the smooth and continuous divergence envisioned by the classic model," says UBC zoologist Miguel Alcaide, the paper's lead author.


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