Latest Adaptive radiation Stories
If you could hit the reset button on evolution and start over, would essentially the same species appear? Yes, according to a study of Caribbean lizards by researchers at the University of California, Davis, Harvard University and the University of Massachusetts.
Madagascar has long been known as a hotspot of biodiversity. Although it represents only one percent of the earth's area, it is home to about three percent of all animal and plant species on the planet. But research suggests the island's heyday of species development may be all but over.
Following one of Earth's five greatest mass extinctions, tiny marine organisms called graptoloids did not begin to rapidly develop new physical traits until about 2 million years after competing species became extinct.
The history of evolution is periodically marked by explosions in biodiversity, as groups of species try out a wide range of shapes and sizes. With a new analysis of two such adaptive radiations in the fossil record, researchers have discovered that these diversifications proceeded head-first.
The question of why there are so many species in the sea and how new species form remains a central question in marine biology.
- Large; stout; burly.