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The Strange Origin of a Manakin’s Golden Crown

Three related species of manakins occupy adjacent parcels of the Amazon rain forest: Opal-crowned, snow-capped and golden-crowned. They are all plump like sparrows, small enough to cup in a hand and have radiant yellow-green upper bodies with golden undersides.

Biologists are now unlocking the mystery of how these neighboring birds became distinct species. Last week, a team of scientists confirmed in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that the golden-crowned manakin is a uniqu

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