A five-year study of bird DNA is turning the world of ornithology on its head. The study revealed such drastic new information about the evolution of birds that dozens will need new scientific names, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Notable finds: Falcons are not related to hawks or eagles; hummingbirds—colorful daytime creatures—evolved from the drab nocturnal nightjar; and parrots are more closely related to songbirds than thought.
The study “pretty much flies in the face, no pun intended, of the traditional thoughts of how birds are related,” says one of the lead authors at Chicago's Field Museum. She says the findings—which will require major revisions of biology books and birders’ field guides—are comparable to learning that your cousin is actually your brother. (Read more Field Museum stories.)