House Sparrows: Rapid Evolution of Races in North America

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Science  01 May 1964:
Vol. 144, Issue 3618, pp. 548-550
DOI: 10.1126/science.144.3618.548


Conspicuous adaptive differentiation in color and size has occurred in the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) in North America and the Hawaiian Islands since its introduction in the middle of the 19th century. Patterns of geographic variation in North America parallel those shown by native polytypic species, in conformity with Gloger's and Bergmann's ecogeographic rules. Racial differentiation of house sparrow populations may require no more than 50 years.