New Scientist cover story on ibis article I was on a walk with my two dogs, both of which had been neutered and taken in by their owners, when I spotted something in the distance.
I recognised it immediately, and I thought I’d had enough.
“They’re just not going to take this,” I thought.
But then I looked back and saw a second dog.
It was a white Ibis, in full breeding colours, with a little blue-grey tail.
It wasn’t an Ibis I’d seen before, and the little white tail gave it away.
I looked at the other dog and realised what I’d found: the world’s first white ibis.
This white Ibisean was the result of the most recent mating between a male and a female ibis, which was just three years ago.
The male Ibis took the female in his arms and carried her to the side of the road, where they lay for a while.
A few days later, they got back together.
Then the male Ibises took another female, and they bred.
A couple of weeks later, she produced a baby.
The two Ibises were put in the same enclosure, and that’s when I noticed something unusual.
The female Ibis had been bred to be the female’s cub.
“This is the first time that this has happened in the wild,” says co-author and evolutionary biologist Brian Walker, who also runs the Ibis and Ibis in Europe project.
Walker and his colleagues discovered that the white Ibises that are the result are born with the male’s DNA and the female Ibises’ egg.
This means the two Ibis are both male and female, even though they are just two years apart.
“We think that this is an evolutionary anomaly, that this species has just been passed down through the generations,” Walker says.
He says that the male and the white ibises are genetically different from their sisters, which means the female has inherited the male genes.
And the white males have a different gene called PLC3A1, which they pass on to the offspring.
This raises the question of how the two different species were able to evolve, and how they came to have such unique traits. “
And the female, as well as the white male, are not a different species,” Walker adds.
This raises the question of how the two different species were able to evolve, and how they came to have such unique traits.
Walker says the researchers plan to do more research to learn more about the origins of white ibIS, and whether they could be found anywhere in the world.
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