Etiqueta: daniel sol
Species of birds living on islands have evolved to have larger brains than their continental relatives. Island conditions have prompted this post-colonization evolution, which enhances adaptability to environmental changes.
A study led by Daniel Sol, CISC researcher based at CREAF, shows that cities preserve 450 million years less evolutionary history compared to natural environments. Birds capable of surviving in highly urbanized environments have undergone recent evolution. The arrival of exotic species does not compensate for poor urban evolutionary diversity.
A large brain increases the capacity to adjust behavior to new circumstances through learning, improving resource-gathering in a changing environment. Greater understanding of this capacity can improve predictions of what species of birds and other animals will be most vulnerable to global change.
An analysis of 1018 bird species led by CREAF and CSIC scientists suggests that innovation is not just an adaptation on it own, but emerges with the combination of certain adaptations which developed for dealing with changes in the environment, including having a large brain and being curious. Primates, cetaceans, parrots, and crows innovate because they have long lifespans and are adapted to living in changing environments.
An international study with participation of CREAF has concluded that singing in higher pitches is no guarantee of success for city birds. This was after observing city-dwelling birds in around 20 cities worldwide, Barcelona being one of them. The researchers compared around 400 species and analyzed whether these were more abundant in their natural habitat or in urban areas. What is certain is that species which sing at higher pitches are heard better against the low tones of the city, but there are other abilities which are more important when adapting to urban life, such as finding food and avoiding urban dangers.
Around the world, invasive animal species are pushing out the natives, sometimes forever altering ecosystems. House sparrows are a prime example, having spread from Europe to most inhabited parts of the world. Daniel Sol has collaborated in an dissemination article for the Science journal that have gleaned key traits underlying its incredible success.