Bridgett vonHoldt solves long-standing finch beak mystery

Tuesday, Nov 20, 2018

Black-bellied seedcrackers (Pyrenestes ostrinus) can have large or small beaks on birds of the same size, a trait that had mystified researchers for years. Princeton biologist vonHoldt found that the two morphs differ in a 300,000-base-pair chunk of DNA, apparently inherited as a unit, which includes a well-known growth-factor gene.

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