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Latest Evolutionary radiation Stories

Madagascar No Longer An Evolutionary Hotspot Research Suggests
2013-07-10 16:49:38

University of Rochester 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. "A staggering number of species are found only on Madagascar," said Daniel Scantlebury, a Ph.D. student in biology, "but this research shows there are limits to the number of...

Antarctica Fish Threatened By Climate Change
2012-02-14 04:19:52

A Yale-led study of the evolutionary history of Antarctic fish and their "anti-freeze" proteins illustrates how tens of millions of years ago a lineage of fish adapted to newly formed polar conditions — and how today they are endangered by a rapid rise in ocean temperatures. "A rise of 2 degrees centigrade of water temperature will likely have a devastating impact on this Antarctic fish lineage, which is so well adapted to water at freezing temperatures," said Thomas Near, associate...

'Head-first' Diversity Drove Vertebrate Evolution
2011-12-21 09:32:25

New study of fish fossil records near extinction events contradicts previous models 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. By analyzing the physical features of fossil fish that diversified around the time of two separate extinction...

2009-02-11 10:20:35

A U.S. study suggests a burst of flowering plants 90 million years ago led to the formation of forests and similar evolutionary bursts in animals. The University of Florida-led study was based on a DNA analysis of living flowering plants. Researchers determined the burst of speciation during a 5-million-year span was one of three major radiations of flowering plants, known as angiosperms. The study focused on diversification in the rosid clade, a group with a common ancestor that now accounts...

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2009-02-10 11:30:29

A new University of Florida study based on DNA analysis from living flowering plants shows that the ancestors of most modern trees diversified extremely rapidly 90 million years ago, ultimately leading to the formation of forests that supported similar evolutionary bursts in animals and other plants. This burst of speciation over a 5-million-year span was one of three major radiations of flowering plants, known as angiosperms. The study focuses on diversification in the rosid clade, a group...

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2008-08-15 15:54:38

Ever since Darwin, evolutionary biologists have wondered why some lineages have diversified more than others. A classical explanation is that a higher rate of diversification reflects increased ecological opportunities that led to a rapid adaptive radiation of a clade. A textbook example is Darwin finches from Galapagos, whose ancestor colonized a competitors-free archipelago and rapidly radiated in 13 species, each one adapted to use the food resources in a different way. This and other...

2007-06-17 03:04:55

By Novack-Gottshall, Philip M Abstract.- The process of evolution hinders our ability to make large-scale ecological comparisons-such as those encompassing marine biotas spanning the Phanerozoic-because the compared entities are taxonomically and morphologically dissimilar. One solution is to focus instead on life habits, which are repeatedly discovered by taxa because of convergence. Such an approach is applied to a comparison of the ecological diversity of Paleozoic (Cambrian- Devonian)...


Word of the Day
maffling
  • To stammer.
  • Present participle of maffle, to stammer.
  • A simpleton.
The word 'maffle' may come from a Dutch word meaning 'to move the jaws' or a French word meaning 'having large cheeks'.