The bird family tree has some surprises tucked away in its branches, according to a new study by Shannon Hackett of Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History and her fellow researchers.
For instance, would you believe that parrots and pigeons are kind of bird-sisters? Did you know that flamingos—which love to splash around—don't seem to be on the same branch of the bird family tree as the rest of the waterbirds?
Hackett and the other scientists were able to figure out all these family relationships by looking at which birds share genes with each other. Birds that share genes share great-great-great-great-great (OK, you get the idea!) grandparents, which means that they should all be on the same branch of the family tree, or at least hanging out on a nearby branch.
It turns out that there are three main groups of birds. There are land birds, like the sparrow you might see hopping around town. There are shore birds, like seagulls that hang out at the beach. And then there are water birds, which include birds like deep-diving penguins. But there are some strange cousins among these groups, birds who have joined the water bird family even though it seems that their evolutionary grandparents were proud members of the land family. -American Association for the Advancement of Science
Comment and add to the story without registration, but keep the comments meaningful please. Links are not accepted.
- 20 Exciting Ways to Use Eggshells For Home and Garden
- Carlos Santana's $65 Supernatural Napa Valley wine
- Operation BBQ dishes up good food to Oklahoma tornado victims
- Cake mix recall, Eco-Cuisine self reports
- Regrowing Foods from Kitchen Scraps Can Save Money Year-Round
- HGTV Memorial Day Cocktails Liven Up Summer Parties
- Four foods a day to keep the doctor away
- Apples to Whole Grain: why and how these 17 foods fight cancer
- Good Eggs Needed for the Chief Egg Officer Search Contest
- Meatless Monday's 10 Hot Tips For Tasty Summer Grilling That'll Get You Fired Up For A Healthy BBQ Season
- Totally loco number of Doritos Locos Tacos sold in just over a year will blow your mind
- Crazy liquored-up ice cream collection captures 'free spirit' of F. Scott Fitzgerald's muse
- An American original: Oscar Mayer introduces the first bacon hot dog: The Bacon Dog
- Food Suggestions to Help Decrease PMS Symptoms
- Eat, drink and argue: dinner table spats on reality TV