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.

Thursday 19 November 2015

Supergene linked to ruff bird collars

Research into a distinctive bird has found a genetic quirk that gives rise to three types of male in the same species.

Scientists have identified a supergene in the birds’ DNA that is solely responsible for three different kinds of males found among ruffs.

Species variety
Male ruffs can either have feathered collars - used in mating displays - or not, and either defend a territory or sneakily hang out on other males’ territories.

This gives rise to three types of the wading bird: collared, territorial independents, collared, non-territorial satellites, and non-collared, non-territorial feeders.

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