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.

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 September 22, 2014 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 September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Fossils & Ruins News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Iconic 'Easy Rider' Chopper Bike to Go on Auction Block

Iconic 'Easy Rider' Chopper Bike to Go on Auction Block

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) The iconic Harley-Davidson motorbike ridden by Peter Fonda in the 1969 classic "Easy Rider" is to go under the hammer in California, and auctioneers predict it will make at least $1 million. Duration: 01:09 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Egypt Denies Claims Oldest Pyramid Damaged in Restoration

Egypt Denies Claims Oldest Pyramid Damaged in Restoration

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) Egypt's antiquities minister denied Tuesday claims that the Djoser pyramid, the country's first, had been damaged during restoration work by a company accused of being unqualified to do such work. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
King Richard III's Painful Cause Of Death Revealed

King Richard III's Painful Cause Of Death Revealed

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) King Richard III died in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, and now researchers examining his skull think they know how. 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:
from the past week

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