Trinity College Dublin zoologists have discovered two beautiful new species of birds in collaboration with Halu Oleo University (UHO) and Operation Wallacea in the Wakatobi archipelago in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Details of their discovery – the Wakatobi White-Eye and the Wangi-Wangi White-Eye – were published today (April 24) in the Linnean Society's Zoological Journal . Alfred Wallace and Charles Darwin published their groundbreaking original ideas on speciation in 1858 ,
The exact definition of species and their time of origin has fascinated scientists for centuries, and although we feel we know intuitively what a species is, the closer we look, the more complicated things become. For example, when looking at closely related populations of organisms, it may be very difficult to decide where to draw the line. Recent research has shown that many different species intersect to some degree and blur the lines further.
Even if we accept the complications associated with species definition, we still have much to learn about how new species emerge. Thinkers from Aristotle to Charles Darwin and others have spent their lives working to understand this topic. Now, the working group of Professor Nicola Marples of the School of Natural Sciences at Trinity College Dublin has shed some light on this evolutionary puzzle.
The group of Prof. Marples studied birds in Sulawesi. In Indonesia and its offshore islands since 1
Working with UHO partners, the Trinity team has been cataloging Sulawesi's unique biodiversity for 20 years. Using a modern research approach to the issue of species separation, the team combines genetic, height and song measures to compare organisms. Bird song differences are especially important as birds use their songs to find their partners; When separate populations of birds sing different songs, they do not intersect so that they can develop in different directions. After a number of generations, the birds in the different populations may possibly be sufficiently different to be classified as unique species.
The Wakatobi White-Eye and the Wangi-Wangi White-Eye
One of the birds (the Wakatobi white-eyed) -ye has been involved in the art debate for quite some time, as the ideas for defining a species from the early 20th century. Century to the present day changed. The other (the Wangi-wangi white eye) went unnoticed until the beginning of the 21st century when the research group of Prof. Marples visited the island from which it takes its name.
The group of white eyes has become more widespread and is suspected to be quicker than any other bird. They are adaptable and feed on a variety of fruits, flowers and insects. White eyes are also the highest island colonizers, which is why so many different species of white eyes have developed so rapidly that isolated island populations are isolated and split off from their source population.
The two new white-eye species, those of Trinity and UHO follow this trend. They are both located on the Wakatobi Islands, directly on the southeastern Sulawesi mainland. However, the two species could not be more different. The Wakatobi white-eye is found on the Wakatobi Islands and has been separated from relatives on the mainland for the past 800,000 years. In contrast, the wangi-wangi white-eye is a much older species that can only be found on a tiny island. The closest relatives are more than 3,000 km away. Although this is an incredible discovery, living on just one tiny island means that the Wangi-wangi white eye is very vulnerable to habitat loss.
Professor of Zoology at the Trinity School of Natural Sciences, Nicola Marples, said: "Find remarkable are two new species of the same species of bird on the same island.The Wangi-wangi white eye is a special discovery, since it is only on a tiny Island and its closest relatives live more than 3,000 km away. "
The main author of the journal article, Dr. med. Darren O'Connell, who recently graduated from Trinity's School of Natural Sciences and now works at University College Dublin, added: "Not only are these discoveries of evolutionary interest – they are also becoming more real Protecting relevance: By highlighting the species unique to the Wakatobi Islands, we can help protect the remaining habitats on the islands, which are under tremendous pressure, and we hope that the islands will be recognized as the end of the mic bird area they receive more conservation support. "
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