Migrating chaffinch singing a different tune

09/30/2013 | Christian Science Monitor, The

Island hopping has caused the chaffinch to change its tune over the past million years, say researchers who noted that the common European bird altered its traditional song pattern as it colonized in the Canary Islands. "Something that happened during or shortly after the process of colonization was responsible for the change in song structure," said Duke University's Robert Lachlan, the study's lead author. "But we can't say for sure what it is yet." Finding out what caused the change could give researchers clues about the bird's evolution.

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