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In a paper recently published by the prestigious scientific journal Evolution, an international research team which includes CIBIO-InBIO researchers Ana Cristina Gomes , Gonçalo Cardoso and Michael Sorenson from Boston University, discloses the connection between changing ornamentation and speciation in bird species.
Although sexual ornamentation can cause reproductive isolation, for decades it was not clear if this feature actually promoted the origin of new species. To understand whether and how sexual selection and ornamentation are involved in speciation, the team used the finch family Estrildidae as a model. Even though several studies have already hypothesized if ornamentation was connected with speciation, this is one of the first to test if changes in ornamentation are directly involved in the process. The results showed that more ornamented lineages do not speciate more, but tend to have faster rates of ornamental evolution, whereas changes in ornamentation are associated with speciation.
According to Gonçalo Cardoso, coordinator of this study, “showing that sexual ornamentation is involved in speciation will clarify the ecological influences on the origin of new species, highlighting its importance, that has been underestimated until this moment”.


To know more about this topic, please follow the links below:
Pássaros com cores mais garridas originam mais facilmente novas espécies” | Público – P3 Pet | October 28,2016 (Information available in Portuguese)


To read the national press release for this study, please click here.


To access the original article, please click here.

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