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The gut of the finch: uniqueness of the gut microbiome of the Galápagos vampire finch

Overview of attention for article published in Microbiome, September 2018
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Among the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#48 of 1,159)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (98th percentile)

Mentioned by

9 news outlets
4 blogs
87 tweeters
1 Facebook page
2 Wikipedia pages


34 Dimensions

Readers on

38 Mendeley
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The gut of the finch: uniqueness of the gut microbiome of the Galápagos vampire finch
Published in
Microbiome, September 2018
DOI 10.1186/s40168-018-0555-8
Pubmed ID

Alice J. Michel, Lewis M. Ward, Shana K. Goffredi, Katherine S. Dawson, Daniel T. Baldassarre, Alec Brenner, Kiyoko M. Gotanda, John E. McCormack, Sean W. Mullin, Ariel O’Neill, Gabrielle S. Tender, J. Albert C. Uy, Kristie Yu, Victoria J. Orphan, Jaime A. Chaves


Darwin's finches are a clade of 19 species of passerine birds native to the Galápagos Islands, whose biogeography, specialized beak morphologies, and dietary choices-ranging from seeds to blood-make them a classic example of adaptive radiation. While these iconic birds have been intensely studied, the composition of their gut microbiome and the factors influencing it, including host species, diet, and biogeography, has not yet been explored. We characterized the microbial community associated with 12 species of Darwin's finches using high-throughput 16S rRNA sequencing of fecal samples from 114 individuals across nine islands, including the unusual blood-feeding vampire finch (Geospiza septentrionalis) from Darwin and Wolf Islands. The phylum-level core gut microbiome for Darwin's finches included the Firmicutes, Gammaproteobacteria, and Actinobacteria, with members of the Bacteroidetes at conspicuously low abundance. The gut microbiome was surprisingly well conserved across the diversity of finch species, with one exception-the vampire finch-which harbored bacteria that were either absent or extremely rare in other finches, including Fusobacterium, Cetobacterium, Ureaplasma, Mucispirillum, Campylobacter, and various members of the Clostridia-bacteria known from the guts of carnivorous birds and reptiles. Complementary stable isotope analysis of feathers revealed exceptionally high δ15N isotope values in the vampire finch, resembling top marine predators. The Galápagos archipelago is also known for extreme wet and dry seasons, and we observed a significant seasonal shift in the gut microbial community of five additional finch species sampled during both seasons. This study demonstrates the overall conservatism of the finch gut microbiome over short (< 1 Ma) divergence timescales, except in the most extreme case of dietary specialization, and elevates the evolutionary importance of seasonal shifts in driving not only species adaptation, but also gut microbiome composition.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 87 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 38 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 38 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 8 21%
Student > Master 8 21%
Student > Ph. D. Student 6 16%
Researcher 5 13%
Student > Doctoral Student 2 5%
Other 4 11%
Unknown 5 13%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 17 45%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 4 11%
Veterinary Science and Veterinary Medicine 2 5%
Arts and Humanities 1 3%
Environmental Science 1 3%
Other 5 13%
Unknown 8 21%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 152. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 10 February 2021.
All research outputs
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Outputs from Microbiome
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Outputs of similar age
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Outputs of similar age from Microbiome
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Altmetric has tracked 19,180,943 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,159 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 40.3. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 95% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 290,945 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them