Paper on African Tinkerbirds chosen by Faculty of 1000 Biology
Tinkerbirds have received little attention in the scientific literature, but they are some of the most recognizable birds of tropical African forest and savanna, singing their simple repetitive songs all day. In a recent edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy Sciences, three researchers from the Institute of the Environment’s Center for Tropical Research, Alex Kirschel, Daniel Blumstein, and Thomas Smith, found that these simple songs shift in frequency when two species come together, accompanied by divergence in body size and beak shape. The two species come together primarily in degraded forest areas, suggesting anthropogenic disturbance could have led to these evolutionary shifts in behavior and morphology.
This paper was chosen by Faculty of 1000 Biology, an expert guide to the most important advances in biology, for review by Jonathan Losos with Terry J. Ord. The paper was evaluated as a "must read" (with a 6.0 rating).
For further details see: http://www.pnas.org/content/106/20/8256.abstract
Published: Tuesday, June 02, 2009