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Darwin's finches unable to sing due to parasite
#1
Bird https://www.theguardian.com/environment/...form-beaks  Bird
 
Tree finches made famous by Charles Darwin’s visit to the Galápagos islands in the 19th century have gone out of tune because of parasitic infections that damage the birds’ beaks and nostrils.
 
Researchers found that male finches that picked up the fly parasite had malformed beaks and enlarged nostrils that led to “subpar songs”, making it harder for the birds to find mates and reproduce.

The infection is caused by the Philornis downsi fly, which is thought to have been introduced to the islands by accident in the 1960s. The fly’s larvae infest birds’ nests and feed on the blood and tissues of their young.

Surveys on the Galápagos islands show that the larvae are now rife and kill more than half of all nestling finches. Those that survive can have badly damaged nasal cavities and nostrils, and their beaks can be deformed to the point that they no longer close properly.
 


Awww, poor birds :'( . This sounds like a very serious threat - not only because it kills so many young birds, but because it makes it so hard for the survivors to breed.

I do hope something can be done to save them from extinction...
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#2
That’s so sad.
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#3
Well, at least they've sung their last song.

Still a shame though, and very unfortunate :(
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