Deemed as one species spread across different continents, scientists confirm that the Eurasian Hen Harrier and the American Northern Harrier are in fact two distinct species.
“Before the advent of sequencing technology, species were categorised by shared and divergent morphological features. However, new technology allows us to quantify the amount of genetic change between populations and identify divergent lineages.” Paper. (public access) – Graham J. Etherington, Jason A. Mobley. Molecular phylogeny, morphology and life-history comparisons within Circus cyaneus reveal the presence of two distinct evolutionary lineages. Avian Research, 2016; 7 (1) DOI: 10.1186/s40657-016-0052-3 More.
On wonders how many other speciation claims will be blown out of the water using such techniques.
Nothing says “Darwin snob” like indifference to the mess that the whole concept of speciation has become. No wonder there. Speciation is central to Darwin’s theory, but not nearly so important to the new approaches to evolution that are threatening to displace it.
Speciation should be, but one fears, won’t be the subject of the next big evolution conference. It’s just so easy to ram down kids’ throats in school, whether it represents nature accurately or not.
See also: Animal hybrids explain Neanderthal genome in our mix?
What happens when animals go back to the wild?
Red wolf not “endangered”; a hybrid?
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