Evolution in your backyard

A British enthusiasm for feeding birds may have caused UK great tits to have evolved longer beaks than their European counterparts, according to new research.

The findings, published in Science, identify for the first time the genetic differences between UK and Dutch great tits which researchers were then able to link to longer beaks in UK birds.

Using genetic and historical data, the research team also found that the differences in beak length had occurred within a relatively short time frame. This led them to speculate that there may be a link with the relatively recent practice of putting out food for garden birds.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-10-evolution-gardengreat-tits-beaks-birdfeeders.html#jCp


EVO: Next Reading

I forgot to assign a reading the last time we met to discuss the book. Oops. Sorry. How about we read the next two chapters and try and meet to discuss them on Tuesday. It isn’t that many pages. Read Chapter 13: Murder City and Chapter 14: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Genetic Determinism (pages 82-99).