Interesting Unrelated Evolution Aricles

Here are three very interesting articles about evolution. They are not in any other way related to each other, except that each is interesting news. The first talks about a possible split in the human species at a time when there were just 2,000 of us on the planet. *

Human line ‘nearly split in two’

The second is an interesting article showing that evolution can happen far more quickly than we had imagined. Unlike a prior article that talked about beak sizes in the Galapagos changing very rapidly, this article talks about significant changes in morphology for a radically different diet taking place in just 30 years. These changes involved head and jaw, as well as gut, in order to digest more plant matter.

This is probably far in excess of anything anticipated by even the most ardent supporter of punctuated equilibrium. **

Lizards Rapidly Evolve After Introduction to Island

The last contradicts presuppositions about the need for isolation as a prerequisite for speciation.

Salamanders formed new species despite interbreeding

Finally, as a bonus, related to evolution only by charting the results thereof. This web site is attempting the herculean task of acquiring and providing all known information about every species on the planet. Had I not heard this at a lecture by E. O. Wilson, I would have assumed this to be too large an undertaking to be credible. Nevertheless, they are off to a good start.

Encyclopedia Of Life

Thanks to rit for finding the articles on evolution.

* Damn!! Just 2,000 humans from a world without this extinction event. I guess that would be called “bad luck”. If those 2,000 that probably just barely squeaked though simply hadn’t, millions of species would be a lot better off today. There’d still be saber toothed tigers, mammoths, woolly rhinos, giant sloth bears, moas and the eagles that ate them, passenger pigeons, ivory billed woodpeckers, dodos, Tasmanian marsupial “wolves”, and many many others. Damn Homo Sapiens ruin everything! Did I mention that I was a misanthrope?

** For any who are unaware of the theory of punctuated equilibrium, please check out the wikipedia page on the subject.

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