SANTIAGO (Reuters) – In a scattered, windswept field on the frigid edge of South America lives a young bird whose quiet life pays tribute to the study of the world’s most remote places.
On the Diego Ramirez Islands, 100 kilometers from Cape Horn in southern Chile, scientists have identified the Antarctic ray, a 16-gram brown bird with black and yellow stripes and a large beak that baffles biologists.
That’s because the subantarctic chile ray, which resembles a type of chile ray that inhabits the forests of southern Patagonia and makes nests in trunk cavities, has been found to live in a treeless location.
said Ricardo Rosi, a researcher at the University of Magallanes in Chile and the University of North Texas and director of the Cabo Horn International Center for the Study of Global Change and Vital Culture Conservation (CHIC).
Rosie said the discovery, published Friday in the scientific journal Nature, comes after a six-year investigation in which the tiny bird became an “obsession” for researchers.
One of the researchers, Rodrigo Vasquez, a biologist at the University of Chile, said genetic studies confirmed that the newly discovered species “differs in one mutation from the rest of the traditional Chilean rays” as well as other differences in shape and behaviour.
Researchers said they dumped and measured 13 individuals on the island. The birds in Diego Ramirez’s group were noticeably heavier and larger (with a longer, wider beak and longer gaze), but their tails were noticeably shorter?
(Reporting by Natalia Ramos)
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