[CT Birds] UT: bird wing shapes follow ancestor, not function

Arthur Shippee ashippee at snet.net
Thu Nov 12 13:49:51 EST 2015

My sister sent this along, of interest.  It seems that flight function did not fine-tune wing shapes.

> https://www.jsg.utexas.edu/news/2015/11/shape-of-bird-wings-depends-on-ancestors-more-than-flight-style

"In a finding that could change the way scientists think about bird evolution, researchers have found that the shape of bird wings is influenced more by how closely related species are to one another than by flight style."

"Julia Clarke, an associate professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at The University of Texas Jackson School of Geosciences, conducted the work with Xia Wang, a post-doctoral researcher who led the study. "

"The researchers found an interesting exception to this trend in the wings of Passerines —a clade that includes songbirds. Instead of a wing shape that resembles more closely related relatives, their shape resembles that of Galliformes, a distantly related order that includes birds, such as chickens and turkeys, whose direct ancestors were among the first birds on the planet."

There are some interesting charts on the site

Original publication here:  http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/282/1816/20151935

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