Document Detail

Brain size, innovative propensity and migratory behaviour in temperate Palaearctic birds.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16011917     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The evolution of migration in birds remains an outstanding, unresolved question in evolutionary ecology. A particularly intriguing question is why individuals in some species have been selected to migrate, whereas in other species they have been selected to be sedentary. In this paper, we suggest that this diverging selection might partially result from differences among species in the behavioural flexibility of their responses to seasonal changes in the environment. This hypothesis is supported in a comparative analysis of Palaearctic passerines. First, resident species tend to rely more on innovative feeding behaviours in winter, when food is harder to find, than in other seasons. Second, species with larger brains, relative to their body size, and a higher propensity for innovative behaviours tend to be resident, while less flexible species tend to be migratory. Residence also appears to be less likely in species that occur in more northerly regions, exploit temporally available food sources, inhabit non-buffered habitats and have smaller bodies. Yet, the role of behavioural flexibility as a response to seasonal environments is largely independent of these other factors. Therefore, species with greater foraging flexibility seem to be able to cope with seasonal environments better, while less flexible species are forced to become migratory.
Daniel Sol; Louis Lefebvre; J Domingo Rodríguez-Teijeiro
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society     Volume:  272     ISSN:  0962-8452     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Biol. Sci.     Publication Date:  2005 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-07-13     Completed Date:  2005-10-04     Revised Date:  2013-06-09    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101245157     Medline TA:  Proc Biol Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1433-41     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Biology, McGill University, 1205, Avenue Docteur Penfield, Montréal, Québec H3A 1B1 Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Analysis of Variance
Animal Migration / physiology*
Behavior, Animal / physiology*
Brain / anatomy & histology*
Feeding Behavior / physiology
Organ Size
Passeriformes / anatomy & histology*,  physiology*
Selection, Genetic*
Species Specificity

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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