It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Study Catches Two Bird Populations As They Split Into Separate Species

page: 1
5

log in

join
share:

posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 06:31 AM
link   
ScienceDaily


ScienceDaily (July 30, 2009) — A new study finds that a change in a single gene has sent two closely related bird populations on their way to becoming two distinct species. The study, published in the August issue of the American Naturalist, is one of only a few to investigate the specific genetic changes that drive two populations toward speciation.

Speciation, the process by which different populations of the same species split into separate species, is central to evolution. But it's notoriously hard to observe in action. This study, led by biologist J. Albert Uy of Syracuse University, captures two populations of monarch flycatcher birds just as they arrive at that evolutionary crossroads.



Now I have been involved in many discussions, and read many more on ATS where a opponent of Evolution has said the following(or something similar!):

"Evolution!!???? Natural Selection???? For gods sake, this is just a change in colour(insert size/tail length/pattern etc etc). How can this be Evolution when it's the same species!

Show be two different specoes that were once the SAME species and I'll admit that Evolution MAY be possible."


Okay, here you are.


Monarch flycatchers are small, insect-eating birds common in the Solomon Islands, east of Papua New Guinea. Uy and his team looked at two flycatcher populations: one found mostly on the large island of Makira, the other on smaller surrounding islands.




The birds on Makira have all black feathers. Birds on the smaller islands have the same black feathers, but with a chestnut-colored belly.


I can hear you all now, but read on before you type!



The question of whether these two populations are on the road to speciation comes down to sex. When two populations stop exchanging genes—that is, stop mating with each other—then they can be considered distinct species.


They disovered that:


That males from the two populations no longer view the other as a reproductive threat is a good indication that not much mating is taking place between the two groups. Their evolutionary paths are diverging, Uy and his team found—all because of a change in plumage.



Also:


They looked into the birds' genomes to see what genes may have played a role in the different plumage pattern. They found only one: the melanocortin-1 receptor gene (MC1R). The MC1R gene regulates the production of melanin, which gives skin and feathers their color. The all-black and chestnut-bellied birds had different versions of the MC1R gene, which gave rise to the plumage change.



That change appears to have been enough to create a reproductive barrier for flycatchers. Not every species is so picky, so a color change doesn't always drive speciation. Nonetheless, these results suggest that it can take as little as one gene, in the right spot in the genome, to cause a fork in the evolutionary road.



Now I know what you are going to say, it's just patch of brown feathers and doesn't constitute a species change. BUT they have different genes, different appearances and they will not mate with each other. Different species in most books!



PS I'd like to thank Science Daily and acknowledge the Study by biologist J. Albert Uy of Syracuse University, the extensive use of the ScienceDaily text was requires in order to carry the argument through.




posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 07:43 AM
link   
I'm all for evolution, but I'm not too sure this is 'proof'.

I mean, there's plenty of human females that I certainly wouldn't mate with, but they aren't a different species, just not my type.

Maybe the birds just aren't attracted to the new plumage?





BUT they have different genes, different appearances and they will not mate with each other. Different species in most books!


Just like a lot of humans! You could twist this to show that white people and black people are different species.

There are definitely genetic differences, different appearances, and depending on preference, they may not mate with each other.

Different species? I think not....

Nice study, but its hardly helps prove evolution. I wish it did!!



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 08:38 AM
link   

Originally posted by kiwifoot
A new study...


They are still "Birds" though...right?











[edit on 30-7-2009 by Solofront]



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 08:45 AM
link   

Originally posted by Solofront

Originally posted by kiwifoot
A new study...


They are still "Birds" though...right?



[edit on 30-7-2009 by Solofront]


Yep still birds!

But they don't like to get it on which is quite important in the world of biology!



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 08:50 AM
link   
There are many homosapiens I wouldn't want to get it on with either, but we are still homosapiens.

So does my lack of "getting it on" with those others, is also quite important in the world of biology?



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 09:13 AM
link   
reply to post by Solofront
 


I think, and I'm no bilologist so this is just a guess(I'll try and find some info on it), that humans for the most part, have sex for pleasure, and we are attracted to more than just the external and biochemical features. (eg how many time have you seen a really ugly, fat man with a supermodel, but oh yeah he happens to be a multi millionaire?)

But in nature, not always but mostly( I'm sure they get some pleasure out of it and do it also for that), animals mate to procreate, to have young and pass on their genetic material, when they don't do that, it's because they know that there is no chance of producing viable, healthy offspring. So when mating between two animals (however physically alike) doesn't happen in Nature, you can make a good guess that nature views them as two different species.

HOW? I don't know, but that's how it looks. Otherwise you'd have bulls mounting horses, dogs mounting cats, birds mating mice.

I'm not entirely sure of the science behind this, but Ill have a look and see if it's ok.



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 09:36 AM
link   
Well our 10lb poodle thinks our 200lb+ mastiff's leg is his "hug toy" so I don't think that logic would work, ie, bulls, horses, cats, etc...

I just don't understand how they conclude that the two BIRD "groups" are becoming two separate species due to the feather color variations and lack of mating.

They are still birds.

It may prove micro evo. but in macro, we wouldn't know unless we fast fowarded millions of years probably.

One definitition of science is observations.

What we are observering seems to be micro...not macro.

We can observe micro, we can theorize macro.



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 09:42 AM
link   
This is a great example. It would do wonders for the evidence if the Scientists could get a sample of sperm from one bird type and attempt to fertilize the egg of another bird type. That would help to determine if it really is just the birds not liking the plumage as one poster put it.



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 09:46 AM
link   
reply to post by Solofront
 


you'll find that in domesticated animals, the occurance of mating between species is more common. This sounds like a flimsy argument but it's true.

Think mule (donkey horse), liger (lion/tiger usually in captivity), and even when it does happen in nature you'll find it happens when animals are in unusaul close proximity with each (like sharing a cave or something.)

In nature, in the wild it is not common at all.

Hyenas don't mate with wild dogs, gibbons don't mate with baboons...see where I'm going.

Dogs are a case in point, also I think they are different breads of the same species. now if those dogs stopped being able to create viable offspring, it may be another example. BUT as I said before, captivity, altered breeding patterns, manipulation of the gene pool (ie the dog) kind of wrecks the entire theory/system how mother nature intended it.

[edit on 30-7-2009 by kiwifoot]



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 09:49 AM
link   
reply to post by TurkeyBurgers
 


I'm not sure that it's just about being able to combine an egg from one and a sperm from another.

I mean, in a lab they can do most things.

I think, and this is kind of a personal opinion, it's more about these birds chosing in the wild not to do it. Does that make sense?

They have an inate mechanism inside them that tells them not to mate with the other bird, the diferences are suttle in appearance, but in NAture there's more than that at play.



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 09:51 AM
link   
I disagree. I think a better description for reproduction is CANNOT, not WILL NOT.

..."after their kind"....



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 10:23 AM
link   

Originally posted by kiwifoot
reply to post by Solofront
 


you'll find that in domesticated animals, the occurance of mating between species is more common. This sounds like a flimsy argument but it's true.

Think mule (donkey horse), liger (lion/tiger usually in captivity), and even when it does happen in nature you'll find it happens when animals are in unusaul close proximity with each (like sharing a cave or something.)

In nature, in the wild it is not common at all.

Hyenas don't mate with wild dogs, gibbons don't mate with baboons...see where I'm going.
[edit on 30-7-2009 by kiwifoot]


Yes, cause in the wild they have more options than just the "cat next door, lol




posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 10:37 AM
link   

Originally posted by Solofront

Originally posted by kiwifoot
reply to post by Solofront
 


you'll find that in domesticated animals, the occurance of mating between species is more common. This sounds like a flimsy argument but it's true.

Think mule (donkey horse), liger (lion/tiger usually in captivity), and even when it does happen in nature you'll find it happens when animals are in unusaul close proximity with each (like sharing a cave or something.)

In nature, in the wild it is not common at all.

Hyenas don't mate with wild dogs, gibbons don't mate with baboons...see where I'm going.
[edit on 30-7-2009 by kiwifoot]


Yes, cause in the wild they have more options than just the "cat next door, lol



I've always wondered about Timon & Poomba, but I guess they're both males(debatable)




posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 11:37 PM
link   
My personal favourite example of speciation is a unique type of bacteria found in a Japanese dumpster that can eat nylon. Nylon didn't exist before the 1930's so this bacteria after evolving to consume the nylon found itself in a whole new niche.
The Nylon Bug.

There is also this archive of recent speciation events, pay particular attention to this.

3. Ring species show the process of speciation in action. In ring species, the species is distributed more or less in a line, such as around the base of a mountain range. Each population is able to breed with its neighboring population, but the populations at the two ends are not able to interbreed. (In a true ring species, those two end populations are adjacent to each other, completing the ring.)



posted on Jul, 31 2009 @ 12:01 AM
link   
I really really love this thread and the research in it. I'm totally exhausted so I can't think of anything else to say, but I flagged it. I've posted similar things on some of the threads on the issue before.

Generally a species can be defined a number of ways. Reproductive barriers are a good way to tell that two organisms are different. But sometimes two totally different species can still reproduce, which was mentioned above. In that case you rely on other characteristics to determine whether the organisms are natural variation of a species or not.

I was thinking of getting a Darwin poster for my dorm room. What do you all think? A Darwin one and a Cetacean classification one...



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 08:30 PM
link   
Pretty amazing they found this while it was happening, i wonder if in a few years the two species will be more distinct from each other.
The nylon bug is pretty cool too.
Its unfortunate there are people saying its not 'proof' of evolution, as though evolution is a myth. But i guess the myth of god clicking his fingers and making a species appear makes more sense to some people..



new topics

top topics



 
5

log in

join