The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change

is a research museum of the Leibniz Association

Nutcracker adaptation



Quick facts

Project title: 
Geographical differentiation and adaptation of the Eurasian Nutracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes)
ZFMK Project lead: 
Object of research: 


The Eurasian Nutcracker Nucifraga caryocatactes s.l. is widely distributed across northern Europe and Asia. Its diet mainly consists of nuts and seeds of different conifer species and deciduous trees. Currently, eight to nine subspecies may be distinguished based on differences in bill morphology and plumage characteristics. Variation in the birds’ diet and varying cone morphology of food plants might account for these differences, especially in bill morphology. In cooperation with the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F), we therefore investigate the different nutcracker subspecies and compare them with dietary characteristics and further ecological traits using classical morphometric measurements and digital three-dimensional methods.


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