Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rapid diversification despite morphological stasis: A snail's pace in a snail's place?

Date:
August 6, 2013
Source:
Ghent University
Summary:
Evolutionary biologists have found an unusual system that allows narrowing the gap in the study of evolutionary processes, working on living African freshwater snails and their fossil ancestors.

Evolutionary biologists at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution and Ghent University (Belgium) have found an unusual system that allows narrowing the gap in the study of evolutionary processes, working on living African freshwater snails and their fossil ancestors.

Related Articles


Species diversification regularly occurs too fast to be accurately recorded in the fossil record but usually too slowly to be readily observed in living organisms. The study of evolutionary radiations is thereby confronted with a gap between the timescales and approaches used by biologists and paleontologists. Although they are difficult to study some of these processes influence our daily lives in various ways. The emergence of pesticide or antibiotic-resistant strains of organisms are examples of rapid evolution, whereas the endangered status of species like the bluefin tuna result from the inability of these species to adapt sufficiently rapid to changing conditions.

Evolutionary biologists at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution and Ghent University (Belgium) have found an unusual system that allows narrowing the gap in the study of evolutionary processes. Working on living African freshwater snails and their fossil ancestors, they document rapid diversification since massive lake level fluctuations that occurred during the Ice Ages. Despite the ever changing environment in which these snails live, morphological characters studied within a lineage of fossils did not change much over five thousand years.

Different morphological characters appear to have behaved differently, with some hardly changing over thousands of years, and others, like body size, changing a lot (the smallest species is less than 1/3 of the size of the largest one). It appears that morphological stasis is a dominant evolutionary pattern, even in young and diversifying clades.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ghent University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ghent University. "Rapid diversification despite morphological stasis: A snail's pace in a snail's place?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130806091648.htm>.
Ghent University. (2013, August 6). Rapid diversification despite morphological stasis: A snail's pace in a snail's place?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130806091648.htm
Ghent University. "Rapid diversification despite morphological stasis: A snail's pace in a snail's place?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130806091648.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Fossils & Ruins News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Discovery Of 'Dragon' Dinosaur In China Could Explain Myths

Discovery Of 'Dragon' Dinosaur In China Could Explain Myths

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) A long-necked dinosaur from the Jurassic Period was discovered in China. Researchers think it could answer mythology questions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Battle of Waterloo Artefacts Go on Display at Windsor Castle

Battle of Waterloo Artefacts Go on Display at Windsor Castle

AFP (Jan. 29, 2015) Artefacts from the Battle of Waterloo go on display at Windsor Castle to mark the 200th anniversary of the momentous battle. The exhibition includes contemporary prints, drawings and personal belongings of French Emperor Napoleon. Duration: 00:31 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mideast Skull Find Sheds Light on Human Ancestors' Trek

Mideast Skull Find Sheds Light on Human Ancestors' Trek

AFP (Jan. 29, 2015) A 55,000-year-old partial skull found in the Middle East gives clues to when our ancestors left their African homeland, and strengthens theories that they co-habited with Neanderthals. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Say Earliest Snakes Lived Alongside The Dinosaurs

Scientists Say Earliest Snakes Lived Alongside The Dinosaurs

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) Wrongly categorized as lizard fossils, snake fossils now show the reptile could have developed earlier than we thought — 70 million years earlier. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins