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Press Release 13-092

Evolution in the Blink of an Eye

Diseases may rapidly evolve to become more--or less--virulent, according to songbird study

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A male house finch near a bird feeder

A healthy male house finch visits a seed feeder; the finches are common at bird feeders.

Credit: Carl Peters/Cornell University


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Male and female house finches by bird feeder

Male house finches are rose-red and brown; females are gray-brown and streaked.

Credit: Elena Petrcich/Cornell University


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Male house finche with eye disease showing swollen, weepy eyes.

House finches that contract eye disease (male shown here) develop swollen, weepy eyes.

Credit: Andy Davis/Cornell University


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Two male house finches on snow-dusted perches in Montana; these birds are healthy.

Two male house finches on snow-dusted perches in Montana; these birds are healthy.

Credit: Jeanette Tasey/Cornell University


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A male house finch perches on a bramble.

A healthy male house finch perches on a bramble in Pennsylvania.

Credit: Kelly Colgan Azar


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Close-up photo of a house finch showing the beak, which is evolved for eating seeds.

House finch photo showing the beak, which is evolved for eating seeds.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons


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