Ratite‐like neoteny induced by neonatal thyroidectomy of European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris

A. Dawson, F. J. McNaughton, A. R. Goldsmith, A. A. Degen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Ratites (ostriches, emus, etc.) are thought to be neotenous descendants of flying birds, rather than primitive birds, even though they became a separate group early in the evolution of birds. This is because of the juvenile, rather than primitive, condition of the palate, skull‐sutures and feathers. We report here that European starlings Sturnus vulgaris thyroidectomized soon after hatching also show neoteny, retaining many juvenile features (general morphology, palate, skull‐sutures, feathers, behaviour), while at the same time becoming sexually mature. The juvenile characters were similar to those found in Ratites, suggesting that hypothyroidism may have been a factor in the evolution of the Ratites. 1994 The Zoological Society of London

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-639
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Zoology
Volume232
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1994

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Ratite‐like neoteny induced by neonatal thyroidectomy of European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this