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Extinct bird re-evolves (apparently)

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Old Friday 10th May 2019, 16:37   #1
Johann Sebastian Bach
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Extinct bird re-evolves (apparently)

Not an April fool spoof.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/s...-a8908211.html

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Old Friday 10th May 2019, 17:28   #2
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Can't read it without disabling my adblocker so all I'll say is, was the bird extinct or not? In order to 'evolve', surely a species has to be extant and what is 're-evolve', is that even a valid term?
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Old Friday 10th May 2019, 17:49   #3
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It seems to be a popularization of the story that can be glimpsed in post 4 of this thread: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=368833

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Old Friday 10th May 2019, 18:25   #4
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So it was a relcolonisation of an island by a second species of Rail which, like it's predecessor (which became extinct), became flightless.

It does no suggest that a species evolved after it's own extinction.
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Old Saturday 11th May 2019, 07:11   #5
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Actually its a very interesting story. More research is needed, obviously, but it will be instructive to see how the respective genomes have converged (assuming genetic material exists for the extinct version of the bird).

I guess the presumption is that the same species of flying rail colonised on each occasion.

The question to be answered is: were the evolutionary pressures on each occasion so similar as to force the same mutations to the surface? - i.e., did the flying rail truly evolve into exactly the same flightless rail on two occasions, with the same phenotype and genotype? If so, leaving out the nonsense of "extinct bird re-evolves" which is journalistic hype (though without it would we be talking about this?), do we think the new birds are actually the same species as the extinct one? If not, why not? Answers on a postcard please....

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Old Saturday 11th May 2019, 08:55   #6
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The actual paper is behind the usual academic publishing paywall but they is more detail in the original university press release.
https://uopnews.port.ac.uk/2019/05/0...from-the-dead/
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Old Sunday 12th May 2019, 08:53   #7
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The actual paper is behind the usual academic publishing paywall but they is more detail in the original university press release.
https://uopnews.port.ac.uk/2019/05/0...from-the-dead/
It doesn't seem possible to get behind the paywall but this extract leaves me distinctly sceptical of the premise written in (by?) the papers.

The implication is that two flightless rails evolved on a specific island and that they may have had identical skeletons.

There can have been no soft tissue comparisons of the 136,000-year-old specimen, so plumage, behaviour and vocalisations cannot have been compared.

As John says, journalistic hype (without which the story would lie dormant).

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Old Sunday 12th May 2019, 14:39   #8
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The understanding I got from the version of this I read was that the same species colonised the island twice, and both times evolved a very similar subspecies - the interesting bit being this non-continuity was a surprise?

While "evolved twice" is a bit misleading, even without that, this is a pretty neat illustration of evolutionary pressures in contained habitats?
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Old Sunday 12th May 2019, 15:35   #9
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The understanding I got from the version of this I read was that the same species colonised the island twice, and both times evolved a very similar subspecies - the interesting bit being this non-continuity was a surprise?

While "evolved twice" is a bit misleading, even without that, this is a pretty neat illustration of evolutionary pressures in contained habitats?
That's probably what I took from it, although think they were saying species, not subspecies (which wouldn't show up morphologically from fossils/remains). Although I remain slightly sceptical (as always) that they can be 100% sure that both fossils were from different time periods with an intervening period of total impossibility of existence.
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Old Sunday 12th May 2019, 23:22   #10
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The actual paper is behind the usual academic publishing paywall but they is more detail in the original university press release.
https://uopnews.port.ac.uk/2019/05/0...from-the-dead/

Full article via sci-hub
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Old Monday 13th May 2019, 11:28   #11
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Thanks for finding the paper, Sci-Hub looks fun!

As with most of these things the actual paper is less exciting than the press release which in turn is less exciting than the newspaper article.

Basically rail arrives on island sometime ago, becomes flightless; island disappears; island reappears; rails recolonise; once again become flightless. This is really evolution 101, there is selection pressure to become flightless on such an island, so the rails become flightless. It is nice to have evidence, but that is it really. I see no evidence that this new flightless rail is somehow the same as the old flightless rail.
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Old Tuesday 14th May 2019, 00:33   #12
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Thanks for finding the paper, Sci-Hub looks fun!

As with most of these things the actual paper is less exciting than the press release which in turn is less exciting than the newspaper article.

Basically rail arrives on island sometime ago, becomes flightless; island disappears; island reappears; rails recolonise; once again become flightless. This is really evolution 101, there is selection pressure to become flightless on such an island, so the rails become flightless. It is nice to have evidence, but that is it really. I see no evidence that this new flightless rail is somehow the same as the old flightless rail.
Good summary!


And yes, sci-hub is very useful for getting round those rapaceous publishing cartels holding science information to ransome.
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Old Tuesday 14th May 2019, 07:27   #13
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Good summary!


And yes, sci-hub is very useful for getting round those rapaceous publishing cartels holding science information to ransome.
What's Arthur got to do with it?
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Old Tuesday 14th May 2019, 08:03   #14
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What's Arthur got to do with it?
Swallows.....
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Old Tuesday 14th May 2019, 11:41   #15
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Swallows.....
And for those of us that don't do cryptic crosswords?
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Old Tuesday 14th May 2019, 16:15   #16
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And for those of us that don't do cryptic crosswords?
and I thought you liked books...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Ransome
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Old Tuesday 14th May 2019, 16:50   #17
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and I thought you liked books...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Ransome
Well if I'd associated 'Arthur' with any of Nuttys post, I may have meandered there eventually but some posts are so removed from the topic as to be gibberish to many of us.

Just aquired my 800th nature title (not counting periodicals and magazines), 'Pocket guide to Butterflies of East Africa'.
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Old Tuesday 14th May 2019, 18:04   #18
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Well if I'd associated 'Arthur' with any of Nuttys post, I may have meandered there eventually but some posts are so removed from the topic as to be gibberish to many of us.

Just aquired my 800th nature title (not counting periodicals and magazines), 'Pocket guide to Butterflies of East Africa'.
Nutcracker's misspelling of ransom for ransome as JDatchens realised. Always good to pick him up on spelling/grammar etc given that's his favourite function in life otherwise ...

Swallows and Amazons an iconic book - that's how I knew what a Great Crested Grebe was from one of the illustrations before I was ever into birdwatching, or perhaps that was a trigger even.
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Old Tuesday 14th May 2019, 19:21   #19
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Nutcracker's misspelling of ransom for ransome as JDatchens realised. Always good to pick him up on spelling/grammar etc given that's his favourite function in life otherwise ...

Swallows and Amazons an iconic book - that's how I knew what a Great Crested Grebe was from one of the illustrations before I was ever into birdwatching, or perhaps that was a trigger even.
And "Great Northern" supplies not only another good read but a damning indictment of eggers before the business was even made illegal (first published 1947, egging outlawed 1954). The original illustration showing Dick's field sketch is however something to make a committee suck their teeth over the record!

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Old Tuesday 14th May 2019, 19:47   #20
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Nutcracker's misspelling of ransom for ransome as JDatchens realised. Always good to pick him up on spelling/grammar etc given that's his favourite function in life otherwise ...
Daniel Theman is quite right! Apologies for the misspelling
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Old Wednesday 15th May 2019, 06:35   #21
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[quote=andyadcock;3849175
Just aquired my 800th nature title (not counting periodicals and magazines), 'Pocket guide to Butterflies of East Africa'.[/QUOTE]


802, 'Wayside and Woodland, Beetles of the British Isles', two volumes.......
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