Have you ever wondered what differs between birds to allow each one to uniquely sing songs in order to attract a mate? Well it is all due to a series of varying genetics. Researchers looked at 2 species and a hybrid species of bird to answer their question. According to what was published in PLOS Biology, researchers observed gene expression in the nuclei of all three finch types. It was found that approximately 10 percent of the genes were differently expressed just between these two species of finch. Therefore, about 5 percent difference was observed in the hybrid offspring. How different species change behavior has always been a question asked by geneticists, and now they hope to “understand how the changes in gene regulation could eventually lead to evolution” of even more differences between species. To test their theory further, researchers observed what would happen if the zebra finch were to be raised by an adult owl finch and vice versa. The young would attempt to mock the adult bird’s song; however, some parts of this song still resembled that of their real species. They had never actually learned their own species song which proved it had to be more instinctual than environmentally inherited. I find this exploration on species very seemingly small differences, to be very interesting and I hope for future research into the reasons how two species can be so similar yet genetically so different.
Related link: https://www.the-scientist.com/image-of-the-day/image-of-the-day--species-specific-songs-66718