Zuckerman Israeli Postdoctoral Scholar Yosef Kiat publishes paper in Current Zoology
Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago
According to classical prediction of aerodynamic theory, birds and other powered fliers that migrate over long distances should have longer and more pointed wings than those that migrate less. However, the association between wing morphology and migratory behavior can be masked by contrasting selective pressures related to foraging behavior, habitat selection and predator avoidance, possibly at the cost of lower flight energetic efficiency. We studied the handwing morphology of Eurasian barn swallows Hirundo rustica from four populations representing a migration distance gradient. Our results may thus contribute to confirming the universality of the rule that longer migrations are associated with more pointed wings.