New Bird Species Can Develop in Only Two Generations (Study)

Darwin's finch on a stone

About 36 years ago, a strange bird arrived on one of the islands of the Galapagos archipelago. Now, so many years later, a new study published by the journal Science has used this bird to provide proof of a new way when it comes to the creation of new species. Researchers from the Uppsala University in Sweden and from Princeton University have teamed up and revealed that this newcomer bird mated with a member of another species already living on that island. They are the ones who created a new species which now has about 30 members.

The experts based their work on Darwin’s finches, which live on the Galapagos Islands, situated in the Pacific Ocean. And because this place is remote, experts were able to study natural selection and the evolution of biodiversity there. Two Princeton scientists, Peter grant and B. Rosemary, actually provided valuable information after conducting some field work on the island called Daphne Major.

A look at how new species are created

According to the two researchers, this study was unique because they were able to observe the appearance of a new species in its natural habitat, in the wild. So, thanks to their work on Daphne Major they had the opportunity to see how two individuals from two different species and then follow what happened next.

The experts managed to take a blood sample from the unusual bird on Daphne Major and then released the bird. After it mated with another individual, the researchers followed the newly-created lineage for six generations. They even took blood samples to analyze them.

According to the news study, the DNA they collected from the parent birds proved that the male bird was from the species Geospiza conirostris from Española island. This is 62 miles to the southeast, meaning that the bird couldn’t return home to mate and choose one from a different species.

Image source: wikimedia