Really? This is odd and I can’t remember ever having heard of such a thing before. How can two species interbreed into a new species?
They took blood samples from the birds in order to extract DNA.
“By examining the genetics, we have shown conclusively that the Italian sparrow is of mixed origin – it is a hybrid of the house sparrow and the Spanish sparrow,” Dr Saetre told BBC Nature.
“Second, and perhaps equally important – it is not reproducing with the Spanish sparrow, even though the two birds live side-by-side.”
If the birds had been breeding, the scientists say that they would have found genetic “intermediates” – birds with genes from both species.
“But we didn’t find this, so we think [the two species] have formed some kind of reproductive barrier to each other,” Prof Saetre said.
Hey, science people (scientists?), what is up with this?