Date: 8/22/20 12:13 am
From: <nw105...> <dmarc-noreply...> (Redacted sender nw105 for DMARC)
Subject: [obol] Tan- vs White-morph White-striped Sparrows

It’s been known for a while that the tan-morph (tm)of this species is less aggressive than the white-morph (wm)White-throated Sparrow.  When confrontedwith recordings of seeming territorial intruders, wms morphs sing more songsand for longer periods.  Both male andfemale wms seek more extra-pair copulations and both male and femalewms sing; male tms practice more mate-guarding from extra-paircopulations and both male and female tms attend more to nestlings.  (The famous tm x wm pairingsare most likely to involve a tm male and a wm female.)  Thus the two morphs are pursuing distinctreproductive strategies: reproductive quantity vs offspring care quality.


It’s now known that wm behavior is under the controlof a single estrogen receptor gene in a block of genes (a super-gene) that becameinverted at some point during a historical chromosome reproduction event.  The chromosome broke and when it reassembleditself, this block of genes was re-inserted ‘upside down’ as it were.  This has been tested both in the field andthe lab. <>

Nathaniel WanderPortland, OR

"This is my home, this is my only home/ This is the only sacred ground that I have ever known/ And should I stray in the dark night alone/ Rock me Goddess in the gentle arms of Eden" Dave Carter & Tracy Grammar, "Rock Me Goddess in the Gentle Arms of Eden" <>

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