01 February 2017 Current Affairs: Researchers exploring the Western Ghats have found two new endemic genera and a new species of songbird.
Undertaken by V.V Robin, C K Vishnudas, Sushma Reddy, Frank E. Rheindt, Pooja Gupta, Daniel M.Hooper and Uma Ramakrishnan, the research was published in the latest issue of BMC Evolutionary Biology.
Highlights : The research team has designated two new genera, the Western Ghats shortwings as Sholicola and the laughing thrushes as Montecincla.
While Sholicola are closely related to the flycatchers, the Montecincla are closely related to babblers.
The Sholicola are confined to Agasthyar Malai mountain ranges.
Montecincla genera include species such as Montecincla jerdoni, Montecincla fairbanki and Montecincla cachinnans. Montecincla meridionalis belongs to Montecincla genus.Sholicola major and Sholicola albiventris belong to Sholicola genus.
Though many people had noted the difference in feather patterns of these birds across populations in different mountain tops, they were still bracketed under a single species. It was the genetic data that proved otherwise.