A new study finds that bird species with extreme or uncommon combinations of traits face the highest risk of extinction. The findings are published in the British Ecological Society journal Functional Ecology.

From house sparrows to hummingbirds to ostriches, birds come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes. These physical attributes relate closely to the roles they play in their environment.

A new study led by researchers at Imperial College London finds that the most unique birds on the planet – those with unusual and rare physical traits – are also the most threatened. Losing these species and the unique roles they play in the environment, such as seed dispersal, pollination and predation, could have severe consequences to the functioning of ecosystems.

Source: ENN

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