British enthusiasm for feeding birds may have caused UK great tits to have evolved longer beaks than their European counterparts, according to new research. The findings, published in Science, identify for the first time the genetic differences between UK and Dutch great tits which researchers were then able to link to longer beaks.
The great tit has revealed its genetic code, offering new insight into how species adapt to a changing planet. Initial findings suggest that epigenetics – what’s on rather than what’s in the gene – may have played a key role in the evolution of the ability to learn. And not just that of birds...