A study in 1964 proposed that when a host species such as a firefinch splits, the corresponding indigobird species splits, too.
In a 2001 study of captive village indigobirds from Africa, he and his colleagues fostered nestlings with two host species: the red-billed firefinch, which these indigobird parents would target in the wild, and the Bengalese finch, which these indigobirds wouldn't naturally encounter.
Musical taste, rather than geography, may have split Africa's indigobirds into multiple species, and a new analysis gives a genetic underpinning for that idea.
This scenario puts indigobirds among the few vertebrates for which scientists have strong evidence that species divided without some geographic barrier looming, says Michael D.
In the field, each male indigobird was tape-recorded to determine its mimicry songs.
In addition to males whose songs we taped, we collected in Cameroon a juvenile indigobird at a call-site of an adult V.
Restriction site homologies and restriction enzyme cleavage site losses (among individuals within a species or among indigobird individuals) relative to the mapped sites were inferred from fragment pattern comparisons with the mapped haplotypes (Vawter and Brown 1986).
We used the entire species assemblage of Vidua as available (we lacked two of the 19 species: an indigobird V.
Splitsville Genetics bolstered the idea that musical taste, rather than geography, split Africa's indigobirds
into multiple species (164: 116).