Despite appearances, Hawaii's five species of recently extinct songbirds known as honeyeaters bore no close relationship at all to the honeyeaters found in Australia and New Guinea, according to a genetic analysis reported online on December 11th in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication. Rather, similarities in the way the two groups of birds act and look - including their long bills and brush-tipped tongues specially adapted for gathering nectar - arose independently in the two geographical regions.
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