The genetics of New Zealand blue eyes spanning millions of years – longer than their extended families during the Ice Age – have found a University of Otago study.
Their story led to lead writer Dr. Nic Rawlence, of the Department of Zoology, calls the low seabird, with 17 different species and subspecies, “the canary in the Southern Ocean costly mine” in reference to the susceptibility of the blue-eyed shags to the weather and human suffering.
“Their strong and rapid responses in the past, and the climate change in the future are a lesson to us all about how fast ecosystems are changing,” he said. his.
DNA research, published in the public domain Journal of BiogeographyNew Zealand’s blue eye shags, including the extinct Stone shag, as well as other living King, Otago and Foveaux shags, have originated in South America millions of years ago.
“Many New Zealand birds know their ancestors in Australia, so it’s rare and exciting to find links to other parts of the world.”
The group expanded to Antarctica and then into the high-latitude sub-Antarctic Islands and the mainland of New Zealand about 2.5 million years ago, living in New Zealand during the ice age.
“Separately, there are some blue eyes on the Antarctic Peninsula and sub -Antarctic islands outside of New Zealand – such as South Georgia, South Orkneys, Marion, Crozet, Kerguelen, Heard, and Macquarie – is often knocked out with each glacial cold cycle, followed by rapid recolonization from South America to each warm interglacial cycle, “Drs. Rawlence’s place.
Researchers are amazed at how well these end-recolonization processes work in each major area of the ocean and how fast the process is done.
“While the first wave of blue -eyed people from South America lived in New Zealand, and their native South America around the Ice Age, there is no doubt that people in the areas are bound by that with this glacial circle by sea ice and ice.Hoss and ice cover.The speed of restoration of these high latitude areas.
“While we’re going to see a lot of the response of animals to the Ice Age in the North as a confinement and expansion out of the glacial refugia, it’s interesting to see now that the response of a group in the South Seas.
“Providing distinct blue finches across the South Seas will make them an excellent natural resource for learning to adapt rapidly, like Darwin’s famous finches in the Galapagos Islands.”
With so much of their history understood, and with global warming, the future of the present in a changing world is unknown.
The Antarctic seabird is facing a declining population
Nicolas J. Rawlence et al, The rapid melting of the South Seas in response to lower sea ice. Journal of Biogeography (2022). DOI: 10.1111 / jbi.14360
Presented by the University of Otago
Directions: Red eyes survived the Ice Age in New Zealand (2022, March 28) retrieved 28 March 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-03-blue-eyed-shags-survived -ice-age.html
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