Body mass and geographic distribution determined the evolution of the wing flight-feather molt strategy in the Neornithes lineage

Yosef Kiat, Alex Slavenko, Nir Sapir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The evolutionary history of many organisms is characterized by major changes in morphology and distribution. Specifically, alterations of body mass and geographic distribution may profoundly influence organismal life-history traits. Here, we reconstructed the evolutionary history of flight-feather molt strategy using data from 1,808 Neornithes species. Our analysis suggests that the ancestral molt strategy of first-year birds was partial or entirely absent, and that complete wing flight-feather molt in first-year birds first evolved in the late Eocene and Oligocene (25–40 Ma), at least 30 Myr after birds first evolved. Complete flight-feather molt occurred mainly at equatorial latitudes and in relatively low body mass species, following a diversification of body mass within the lineage. We conclude that both body mass and geographic distribution shaped the evolution of molt strategies and propose that the evolutionary transition towards complete juvenile molt in the Neornithes is a novel, relatively late adaptation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21573
JournalScientific Reports
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A.S. is supported by a Royal Society grant RGF\EA\181082. We thanks Peter Pyle and two other anonymous reviewers for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Body mass and geographic distribution determined the evolution of the wing flight-feather molt strategy in the Neornithes lineage'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this