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Old 12-12-2013, 04:42 PM   #1
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Default How People Drove an Evolution in Cliff Swallows

How People Drove an Evolution in Cliff Swallows
Post by Gary Hochman , Producer for QUEST Nebraska
Dec 5, 2013

How People Drove an Evolution in Cliff Swallows | QUEST
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When the worlds of nature and people converge, nature is often endangered. But in a strange twist, the manmade world of highways has favored the survival of cliff swallows, according to University of Nebraska ornithologist Mary Bomberger Brown. “Natural selection and human development have created a better bird,” she said.

Bomberger Brown's bold conclusion is based on her 30-year study of cliff swallows – one of the longest running evolution studies in the world. Cliff swallows are North American migratory birds. From March to September, they nest and breed in colonies ranging from Canada to Mexico. In winter, they migrate to Chile, Argentina and Brazil.

Each year during the last three decades, Bomberger Brown and her colleague, Charles Brown of the University of Tulsa, have been conducting a detailed study of cliff swallow life along the roadways and waterways of western Nebraska near Lake McConaughy. Their findings show how...
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Old 12-12-2013, 05:44 PM   #2
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It is nice to hear some positive news regarding our impact on the environment and native populations. I've always wanted to attract cliff swallows (based on pictures I've seen of them and their unique nests).
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Old 01-06-2014, 12:43 PM   #3
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That is a really interesting article about the Cliff Swallows. I would be interested in similar studies on other animals who have successfully adapted to live with humans, such as crow, raccoons or perhaps even the peregrines who now live in cities, to see if they have also undergone an evolution in morphology. It is interesting how fast natural selection worked in the swallows.
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