Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, November 19, 2017

The scientists behind a study published in the Oct. 20 issue of the journal Science didn't set out to reveal a human influence on bird evolution. But when they compared the DNA of Dutch and British great tits (Parus major) they found clues of just that. The key genetic differences between these great tit populations lay in their beaks. As a result, the British birds' beaks were roughly one millimeter longer than the Dutch birds' beaks, a change that appears to have taken place in just a few decades. The scientists studying the great tits suspect a change in human behavior might be behind this dramatic evolution. Backyard bird feeding started becoming popular in Britain in the 1960s. Now, an estimated half of all British households put food out for the birds, says Kate Plummer, a research ecologist at the British Trust for Ornithology, who was not part of the research team. "It's an enormous pastime for people in [Britain]." British birds born with longer beaks may have been better able to access the plentiful food source provided by backyard bird feeders, improving their likelihood of surviving to reproduce.

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Darwin's finches strike again.

#1 | Posted by Tor at 2017-11-19 08:15 PM | Reply

Yes, Virginia, we really did evolve from another ape.

#2 | Posted by bayviking at 2017-11-19 08:20 PM | Reply

Scientists study great ---- and this is the lame title you come up with?
Not even beak size matters, or British peckers are bigger due to hand-outs.
Hang your head in shame.

#3 | Posted by bored at 2017-11-19 08:30 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

A silly millimeter longer 101.

Remember that you old ==/ks

#4 | Posted by bruceaz at 2017-11-19 08:37 PM | Reply

Yes, Virginia, we really did evolve from another rodent.
#2 | POSTED BY BAYVIKING

Fixed that for you!!!!

#5 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2017-11-19 09:02 PM | Reply

I'm convinced that birds spread the word when I fill the feeder with fresh seed.

#6 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2017-11-19 09:25 PM | Reply

#6 that's all cool til you realize that Morris the cat invested all his earnings into bird feed.

I'm not kidding ,look it up.

Feathers all over my yard but dove and pigeons, not song birds.

#7 | Posted by bruceaz at 2017-11-19 09:37 PM | Reply

Birds dont concern me.

The growth in squirrel IQ is worrisome. 😉

#8 | Posted by Tor at 2017-11-19 09:56 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"The scientists studying the great tits suspect a change in human behavior"

Classic line lol.

#3 I agree how is this, not the headline.

#8 Squirrels = Rats with pretty tails

#9 | Posted by PinkyanTheBrain at 2017-11-19 11:44 PM | Reply

#5, or you coulda' said, "from a single celled organism".

#10 | Posted by bayviking at 2017-11-20 07:04 AM | Reply

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But when they compared the DNA of Dutch and British great tits

Now that's a study I can get behind....errr...support.

#11 | Posted by jpw at 2017-11-20 10:32 AM | Reply | Funny: 2

@11

I'd love to get my hands on some of the evidence.

#12 | Posted by Tor at 2017-11-20 11:38 AM | Reply

"Now that's a study I can get behind....errr...support."

Me, I'd want to be out front on this.

#13 | Posted by Danforth at 2017-11-21 01:01 AM | Reply

Me, I'd want to be out front on this.

I completely understand.

When it starts to move quickly it can really go up or down.

#14 | Posted by jpw at 2017-11-21 01:09 AM | Reply

"When it starts to move quickly it can really go up or down."

That's why you really need to get a good handle on it.

#15 | Posted by Danforth at 2017-11-21 01:42 AM | Reply

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