Italian Sparrow as the New Species
The Italian Sparrow is a hybrid sparrow, between the ubiquitous house sparrow and Spanish sparrow. There are some scientific debates about the species of this kind of sparrow, whether the sparrow is a distinct species or not.
The Journal Molecular Ecology stated the Oslo scientist team’s evidence, that their evidence could resolve the question. However, many bird-watching guides have identified the Italian Sparrow as a distinct species.
However, Glenn –Peter Saetre, an evolutionary biologist who is also the leader of this study, stated that that genetic snapshot emerges the debate. In addition the researchers had studied the Italian sparrows and Spanish Sparrows population. They said that both of them share the same habitat in the south-east part of Italy. To prove it they took the blood samples of both birds to extract the DNA.
They said that by examining the genetics, they had proven that Italian sparrow is mixed origin. The bird is a cross between the house sparrow and Spanish sparrow.
The second evidence, and quite important, is the Italian Sparrow is not reproducing with the Spanish Sparrow, although they live in one habitat. The scientists further explained that if the birds breeding, they would found the genetic that intermediates from both species.
Prof Saetre said that the scientists did not find the intermediate genetic from both birds, so they thought that the two species had formed some kinds of reproductive barrier to each other.
He also explained that either Italian sparrow did not the appearance of Spanish sparrow or maybe they have different breeding season. The scientists’ team was not so sure about the reason they made. However, the truth is they are not reproducing.
The debate of the definition of distinct species has no clear resolution in the evolutionary biology. The clear definition that can be founded in this case is that the different species, under natural condition tend not to interbreed.
If The Italian sparrows have stopped reproducing with Spanish sparrows, they will gradually become more genetically distinct.