Monday 20 May 2019

Bird's eye view: Trinity researchers find new species

Trinity College researchers have discovered two previously unknown bird species that may shed light on the evolutionary process.
Trinity College researchers have discovered two previously unknown bird species that may shed light on the evolutionary process.

Allison Bray

Trinity College researchers have discovered two previously unknown bird species that may shed light on the evolutionary process.

Zoologists at TCD believe their discovery on a unique island in the Wakatobi Archipelago in Indonesia could hold vital clues to the "complex evolutionary puzzle of how new species emerge".

Their discovery of the Wakatobi white-eye and the Wangi-wangi white-eye birds on the island of Wakatobi, renowned for its flora and fauna and large number of animal species found nowhere else on Earth, was published in the prestigious 'Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society', the same journal in which Charles Darwin published his work on evolution in 1858.

"To find two new species from the same genus of birds in the same island is remarkable. The Wangi-wangi white-eye is a particularly special discovery, as it is found on only one tiny island and its closest relatives live more than 3,000km away," said zoology professor Nicola Marples.

Irish Independent

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