Excerpt from The Laramie Boomerang - By EVE NEWMAN email@example.com -
Sitting at the edge of the plains and the mountains, Wyoming occupies territory that’s home to birds from both the East and West.
When habitats meet and species interact, hybrids can be one result — when a bird has parents of two species. For biologists, hybrids are a natural experiment working itself out, and they can lend insight to a host of questions about biodiversity, climate change, speciation and adaptation.
“It’s a common biological evolutionary concept,” said Elizabeth Wommack, staff curator of the University of Wyoming Museum of Vertebrates.
Several types of bird hybrids are found in southeast Wyoming, and now a hybrid of a new sort is on display at the Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center, a joining of science and art in the study of these local hybrids.
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Rosie Ratigan works on a study of buntings in her Lander studio.