It’s “like a rainbow,” says Alfredo Barrera-Guzmán. But if they return by a different path, those landmarks will be absent. Two fish species, the common bream (left) and roach (right), can mate to produce hybrids (center). Delmore and D.E. Over time, this species has split into subspecies. “You have to make the best out of the situation,” says Kira Delmore. fertile Old enough and able to reproduce. And that would increase — not decrease — the variety of life on Earth. Here’s a roost for birds called cormorants. Female desert woodrats almost always mated with their own species, the scientists found. The newer type is not necessarily more “advanced,” just better adapted to the conditions in which it developed. Scientists have seen this happen with two antelope species in southern Africa. That would reduce the variety of species. The team used a device that broadcast a radio signal. When animals mate, their young get a mixture of the parents’ DNA. BMC Evolutionary Biology. defecate To discharge solid waste from the body. Inbreeding in dogs can often lead to puppies with medical problems such as birth defects. In 2005, his team was studying two fish species named common bream and roach (not to be confused with the insect). Then they returned via the russet-backed thrush’s path. Journal: Q.R. Look out for your Lunchtime Genius newsletter in your inbox soon. Environment may refer to the weather and ecosystem in which some animal lives, or, perhaps, the temperature and humidity (or even the placement of components in some electronics system or product). Its diamond-like shape makes bream hard to swallow. Thanks! digest (noun: digestion) To break down food into simple compounds that the body can absorb and use for growth. These guide what an animal looks like, how it behaves and the sounds it makes. Nilsson’s team wondered if the birds were eating roach, bream and hybrids as well. Hybrids can be different from their parents in many ways. The hybrids eventually became their own species, the golden-crowned manakin (center). The birds’ homes were pretty gross. One result: The birds migration might take longer to complete. doi:10.1111/ele.12326. In a recent study, her team focused on two species: the desert woodrat and Bryant’s woodrat. The desert woodrat (shown here) sometimes mates with a similar species called Bryant’s woodrat. Wild house mice rely on specially evolved proteins in their urine to sniff out and avoid mating with their close relatives. Biodiversity is a measure of the number of species. People may even set loose animals from other countries, accidentally or on purpose, into a new habitat. Hybrid songbirds employ intermediate routes in a migratory divide. To study their behavior, Nilsson and his colleagues implanted tiny electronic tags in the fish. It’s the first-known case of a hybrid bird species in the Amazon, he says. The term might refer to anything from a smooth, flat and dry landscape to a mountainous region covered with boulders, bogs and forest cover. But russet-backed thrushes migrate down the west coast to land in Mexico and Central America. Yahoo is part of Verizon Media. However, when they do encounter each other, they can still breed and produce fertile young. Is it possible for humans and chimpanzees to interbreed? “It’s not pretty.”. Post was not sent - check your e-mail addresses! Ecology Letters. Vol. 13, 2013, article 220. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-13-220. He is a biologist at Lund University in Sweden. Hybrid offspring get more variety in the DNA they inherit. Indeed, the males often bit and scratched the females. Viewed from the side, the bream appears diamond-shaped with a taller middle than its ends. There, they can mate and produce hybrids. colleague Someone who works with another; a co-worker or team member. Sometimes it’s stronger. The researchers will monitor whether the animals get sick. In many social species the trick is that one sex, usually the female, leaves the group at adolescence. To see whether the offspring still recognize their mothers, the experiment was now revised so that the targeted scent was that of the dog's mother … Discover our latest special editions covering a range of fascinating topics from the latest scientific discoveries to the big ideas explained. To enable Verizon Media and our partners to process your personal data select 'I agree', or select 'Manage settings' for more information and to manage your choices. Which directions do hybrids get? Sometimes, hybrids are shaped differently than their parents. But DNA from different species or species groups will have more variations. “Differences in migration could be helping these guys maintain differences,” Delmore concludes. Many hybrid animals are sterile. The length of the day and timing of midday differs depending on location. Molecules can be made of single types of atoms or of different types. The olive-backed thrush has greenish-brown feathers and lives farther inland. An individual that makes this move is known as a migrant. Our daily newsletter arrives just in time for lunch, offering up the day's biggest science news, our latest features, amazing Q&As and insightful interviews.