Giants hummingbirds are not just one, but two species

Anew study led by Cornell University has found that the giant hummingbird, previously thought to be a single species across western South America

The experts differentiated between the northern and southern populations of these hummingbirds

The former residing year-round in the high Andes and the latter migrating from sea level up to 14,000 feet during non-breeding months. 

Despite their identical appearances, genetic and behavioral analyses indicate significant differences.

"They're about eight times the size of a Ruby-throated Hummingbird," said lead author Jessie Williamson, a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell. 

We knew that some giant hummingbirds migrated, but until we sequenced genomes from the two populations, we had never realized just how different they are."

They are as different from each other as chimpanzees are from bonobos. The two species do overlap on their high elevation wintering grounds." 




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