Everybody’s heard about the bird

In fact, it’s a virtual certainty that you’ve seen one:

House sparrows are everywhere humans are. But despite their suggestive species name, Passer domesticus, they aren’t officially domesticated. The bold, tiny, gray-and-brown birds are found on every continent except Antarctica, hopping around cities, pecking at leftover food on sidewalks, and sometimes chasing away native bird species. A new study suggests how these ubiquitous avians have adapted to living alongside humans: The evolutionary process of natural selection may have favored genetic changes that altered their skull shape and allowed them to digest starch — similar to domesticated animals like dogs.

So that’s what happened to that corn dog you dropped by the curb.

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