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|OTHER WILD BIRD STORIES
Bird Watching Stories
(Go Back to Wild Bird Page Contents)
|» No Barbeque this Summer|
|» Barn Swallow "Mama"|
|» Just How Does a Bird Eat Bees?|
|» My Birdwatching Adventures in Costa Rica|
|» Just Another Golden Eagle|
| » Four Birds in One Tree:
A Few Days of Birdwatching in England
|» Four Calling Birds???|
|» A Very Unique Cardinal|
| » Narcissism or Territorial
Defense: Macho Cardinal
|» The Last Companion Carolina Paroquet|
|» The Ever-Popular Chickadee|
|» Convergent Evolution: Meadowlark and Longclaw|
|» Barrel Cactus Confrontation|
|» Galahs Playing Around and Around and Around ...|
| » Who Made Up This Stuff?
Bird Call Mnemonics
|» Mesmerizing a Goldfinch|
|» The Best Mimic?|
|» Prairie Chickens and Woodcocks:
|» Mob Mentality: Who is Really in Control of the Skies?|
|» The Owl Who Sat Down Beside Me|
|» Meeting Hot Shot: The Toddler Peregrine Falcon|
|» Seeing 'Sea Parrots'
|» A Rare and Unusual Bird
Meeting Roger Tory Peterson
|» Raven Showoffs|
|» Reddish Egrets and Canopy Feeding|
| » Robins and Worms
Hear, See, Smell, or Feel?
|» Hospital Hallucination|
|» What Are You Doing Here? Scissortail Flycatcher|
|» Wild Bird "Attacks": Just Misunderstandings?|
|» Drunken Waxwings and an Unusual Hummingbird Feeder|
| » Aransas in the Fog:
|» Acorn Woodpecker Defending its Stash|
|» Why Woodpeckers Don't Get Headaches: Built in Shock Absorber|
& DIVERGENT EVOLUTION
By Sally Blanchard
ONE OF THESE IS NOT LIKE THE OTHER
While the two birds to the right may look like the same bird, they are actually two different species from two different familes of birds from two different continents. The bird on the left is the Yellow-throated Longclaw from Africa and is related to pipits and wagtails while the bird on the right is the Western Meadowlark, which is a North American bird related to blackbirds. These two birds are an example of convergent evolution. This is where two unrelated species evolve to have similar characteristics to fit in with their environments.
There is also a process called Divergent Evolution. This is when different populations of the same species start and continue to become very different from each other and eventually are classified as different species. This often occurs because of geographical barriers such as rivers and even new mountains forming. The Darwin's Finches of the Galapagos Islands are an example of divergent evolution. There are now eighty varieties of these finches that all diverged from one finch. It is thought that the large macaws may also be an example of divergent evolution. The use of DNA will continue to help define the relationship of many birds.