Current Speciation News and Events

Current Speciation News and Events, Speciation News Articles.
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The keys to the squirrel's evolutionary success in the face of climate change have been identified
Squirrels form a diverse family of rodents. Nearly 300 species have been described, and they occur in every land environment on the planet, from tropical forests to hot and cold deserts. But why are there so many species? A study led by researchers from the Complutense University of Madrid and the Institute of Geosciences (UCM-CSIC) has examined the characteristics of squirrel species that contribute to their evolutionary success in the face of global climate change. (2020-11-25)

Giant aquatic bacterium is a master of adaptation
The largest freshwater bacterium, Achromatium oxaliferum, is highly flexible in its requirements, as researchers led by the IGB have now discovered: It lives in places that differ extremely in environmental conditions such as hot springs and ice water. The adaptation is probably achieved by a process which is unique to these bacteria: only relevant genes are enriched in the genomes and transcribed, while others are archived in cell compartments. (2020-11-19)

Cichlid fishes from African Lake Tanganyika shed light on how organismal diversity arises
Lake Tanganyika in Africa is a true hotspot of organismal diversity. Approximately 240 species of cichlid fishes have evolved in this lake in less than 10 million years. A research team from the University of Basel has investigated this phenomenon of ''explosive speciation'' and provides new insights into the origins of biological diversity, as they report in the journal Nature. (2020-11-18)

New analysis refutes claim that dinosaurs were in decline before asteroid hit
New research suggests that dinosaurs were not in decline before the asteroid hit. The study contradicts previous theories and concludes that had the impact not occurred dinosaurs might have continued to be the dominant group of land animals. (2020-11-17)

Genomic data 'catches corals in the act' of speciation and adaptation
A new study led by the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa revealed that diversity in Hawaiian corals is likely driven by co-evolution between the coral host, the algal symbiont, and the microbial community. (2020-11-02)

Answer to Darwin's question
In a paper published in Nature, evolutionary biologist Axel Meyer from the University of Konstanz analyses almost 500 genomes and provides answers to questions concerning the genomic basis of adaptations, the differences between species, and the mechanisms of speciation (2020-10-28)

Tracking the Himalayan history from the evolution of hundreds of frogs, lizards and snakes
We examined two hypotheses about the uplift of the Himalaya based on biotic assembly through time of the herpetofauna. Our analyses support a recently proposed stepwise geological model of Himalayan uplift beginning in the Paleocene, with a subsequent rapid increase of uplifting during the Miocene, finally giving rise to the intensification of the modern South Asia Monsoon. These series of geological and climatic events have left significant signal on the evolution of herpetofauna. (2020-10-26)

Genome duplications as evolutionary adaptation strategy
Genome duplications play a major role in the development of forms and structures of plant organisms and their changes across long periods of evolution. Heidelberg University biologists made this discovery in their research of the Brassicaceae family. To determine the scope of the different variations over 30 million years, they analysed all 4,000 species of this plant family and investigated at the genus level their morphological diversity with respect to all their characteristic traits. (2020-09-23)

These birds communicate by fluttering their feathers -- and they have different accents
Fork-tailed Flycatchers, scientists just discovered, communicate with the sounds made when they flutter their feathers. And by analyzing recordings of the birds in flight, the researchers found that subspecies with different migration patterns have different ''dialects'' to their feather sounds, possibly helping contribute to them splitting into separate species. (2020-09-22)

Engineering speciation events in insects may be used to control harmful pests
This research provides the foundations for scientists to be able to prevent genetically modified organisms from reproducing with wild organisms. Additionally, the research will allow scientists to develop new tools to control populations of disease carrying insects and invasive species in a highly targeted fashion. (2020-09-08)

Study: Oriole hybridization is a dead end
A half-century of controversy over two popular bird species may have finally come to an end. In one corner: the Bullock's Oriole, found in the western half of North America. In the other corner: the Baltimore Oriole, breeding in the eastern half. Where their ranges meet in the Great Plains, the two mix freely and produce apparently healthy hybrid offspring. But according to scientists from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, hybridization is a dead end and both parent species will remain separate (2020-08-03)

Hengduan Mountain alpine flora history shown to be longest on Earth
Researchers from the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences showed that the alpine flora of the Hengduan Mountains has continuously existed far longer than any other flora on Earth. They also illustrated how modern biotas have been shaped by past geological and climatic events. (2020-07-30)

Lefties and righties: Asymmetry in fish genitalia
Evolutionary biologists from the University of Konstanz resolve a century-old question regarding the asymmetric genitals of internally fertilizing fishes of the family Anablepidae. Surprisingly, the direction of genital asymmetry in these fishes is random rather than hereditary. (2020-07-08)

Pattern analysis of phylogenetic trees could reveal connections between evolution, ecology
In biology, phylogenetic trees represent the evolutionary history and diversification of species -- the ''family tree'' of Life. Phylogenetic trees not only describe the evolution of a group of organisms but can also be constructed from the organisms within a particular environment or ecosystem, such as the human microbiome. In this way, they can describe how this ecosystem evolved and what its functional capabilities might be. (2020-06-26)

A changing mating signal may initiate speciation in populations of Drosophila mojavensis
When choosing a mate, females of different subspecies of Drosophila mojavensis recognize the right mating partners either mainly by their song or by their smell. New species apparently evolve when the chemical mating signal is altered and when, in turn, the signal is reinterpreted by the opposite sex in the context of other signals, such as the courtship song. (2020-06-17)

Chromosomal speciation in wild house mice
A new look into the genomes of natural populations of the common house mice by a team of researchers from the University of Konstanz, Harvard University and La Sapienza University of Rome suggests that large-scale chromosomal rearrangements play an important role in speciation. (2020-05-26)

Divergence in flowering time contributes reproductive isolation between wild rice species
This study chose a pair of wild rice species (Oryza rufipogon and O. nivara) as a unique system to investigate the between-species reproductive isolation based on artificial crossing experiment and the flowering census from the common garden experiment. Researchers demonstrate that divergent flowering time between species contributes to nearly complete reproductive isolation and thus the major factor leading to the origin of the new species O. nivara. (2020-05-20)

Analysis of bird species reveals how wings adapted to their environment and behavior
Bird wings adapted for long-distance flight are linked to their environment and behavior, according to new research on an extensive database of wing measurements, led by the University of Bristol. (2020-05-18)

Oak genomics proves its worth
A landmark 10 article collection published in the April 16 issue of New Phytologist helps clarify the evolution of oaks and identify key genes involved in oak adaptation to environmental transitions and resistance to pathogens. It also addresses the implications and history of oak hybridization, and traces genomic evidence for an estimated 56 million years of oak evolution. (2020-04-20)

Bees point to new evolutionary answers
Evolutionary biology aims to explain how new species arise and evolve to occupy myriad niches -- but it is not a singular or simplistic story. Rare bees found in high mountain areas of Fiji provide evidence that they have evolved into many species, despite the fact they can't readily adapt to different habitats. These bees -- discovered by a team of Australian researchers -- serve as a major warning about the impact of ongoing human-induced climate change and loss of biodiversity for different species. (2020-04-15)

Researchers challenge accuracy of methods that analyze trees of life
When species under a taxonomic umbrella have faced forks in the road, leading to extinction or adaptation, the path taken has been difficult to follow. In a newly published paper, two scientists argue that long-used approaches for reconstructing these paths are deeply flawed. They also offer a a mathematical model as a way forward. (2020-04-15)

One of Darwin's evolution theories finally proved by Cambridge researcher
Scientists have proved one of Charles Darwin's theories of evolution for the first time -- nearly 140 years after his death. Laura van Holstein, a Ph.D. student in Biological Anthropology at St John's College, University of Cambridge, and lead author of the research published today (March 18) in 'Proceedings of the Royal Society B, discovered mammal subspecies play a more important role in evolution than previously thought. Her research could now be used to predict which species conservationists should focus on protecting. (2020-03-17)

New findings of chemical differences between PM1 and PM2.5 might reshape air pollution studies
A new study by the Institute of Atmospheric Physics at Chinese Academy of Sciences reveals chemical differences between PM1 and PM2.5 and how these differences may affect pollultion studies. (2020-03-09)

Extinction resistance, not speciation, shaped ecologically diverse modern marine fauna
Ecologically diverse clades came to dominate the modern oceans because they were better buffered against the successive mass extinctions events which reshaped marine animals over evolutionary time -- not because of their higher rates of speciation, according to a new study. (2020-02-27)

Global relationships that determine bird diversity on islands uncovered
Researchers from the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford have contributed to a monumental international study, published today in Nature, that has shown what factors determine how many bird species can be found on any given island. (2020-02-19)

New mathematical model reveals how major groups arise in evolution
Researchers at Uppsala University and the University of Leeds presents a new mathematical model of patterns of diversity in the fossil record, which offers a solution to Darwin's ''abominable mystery'' and strengthens our understanding of how modern groups originate. The research is published in the journal Science Advances. (2020-02-19)

Untangling the branches in the mammal tree of life
In a new study published in the journal PLOS Biology, researchers at Yale University unveil a complete overhaul of the way species data is brought together and analyzed to construct an evolutionary tree of life for mammals. It's aimed at giving scientists, conservation managers, policymakers, and environmentalists more accurate, comprehensive information about species diversity and relationships, past and present. (2019-12-04)

Study tracks genomic changes that reinforce darter speciation
When they share habitat, orangethroat and rainbow darters tend to avoid one another, even though they are closely related and can produce 'hybrid' offspring. A new study offers an analysis of the genomic changes that occur when these fish hybridize, offering insight into the gradual accumulation of incompatible traits that likely drives them to diverge. (2019-11-25)

Spot the difference: Two identical-looking bird species with very different genes
While reports of species going extinct are sadly becoming common, an international team of scientists has identified a new species of bird living on the Southern coast of China, that diverged from their Northern relatives around half a million years ago. (2019-11-13)

Pitt study: Sexual selection alone could spark formation of new species
Because of imprinted preferences, strawberry poison frog females mate more with similar colored males, and less with differently colored males. Over time, the behavior could lead to two color types becoming separate species. (2019-10-17)

Imprinting on mothers may drive new species formation in poison dart frogs
By rearing frogs with parents -- or foster parents -- of different colors, a team from the University of Pittsburgh working at the Smithsonian in Panama discovered that behavior in response to color may be more important than genetics in the evolution of new species. (2019-10-03)

Why is Earth so biologically diverse? Mountains hold the answer
Life on Earth is amazingly diverse, and exhibits striking geographical global patterns in biodiversity. A pair of companion papers published Sept. 13 in Science reveal that mountain regions -- especially those in the tropics -- are hotspots of extraordinary and baffling richness. Although mountain regions cover only 25% of Earth's land area, they are home to more than 85% of the world's species of amphibians, birds, and mammals, and many of these are found only in mountains. (2019-09-12)

Scientists use a new method to track pollution from cooking
Scientists find that black carbon is a good tracer to separate cooking organic aerosol from traffic-related organic aerosol. (2019-08-23)

High diversity of harvestmen in Atlantic Rainforest and ancient geological events
Mountain range uplift, river formation and other events that occurred 30 million years ago explain the emergence of new species of the arachnid in the biome's southernmost portion, according to a Brazilian study. (2019-08-22)

Rapid evolution: New findings on its molecular mechanisms
Evolutionary biologists from Konstanz analyze the role of microRNAs in the evolution of new species. (2019-08-14)

Quantum dots capture speciation in sandplain fynbos on the West Coast of South Africa
With a tongue up to 7 cm long, the long-tongue fly Moegistorhynchus longirostris often battle to fly, especially in the wind. Researchers from Stellenbosch University in South Africa were able to show conclusively that long- and short-tubed flowers place and receive pollen on different parts of the fly's long tongue: short tubed flowers mostly midway and long-tubed flowers on or near the head. This indicates a barrier to the flow of genes. (2019-08-05)

Ladies' choice: What drives faster, flashier formation of new animal species
Evolution is actually a Sadie Hawkins dance, as new research shows females not only determine whether male animals develop bright colors, but also how fast new species develop. (2019-07-26)

The two faces of the Jekyll gene
Genes which are specific to a species or group of species can reflect important genetic changes within lineages. Often, such lineage-specific genes are found to play a role within sexual reproduction, thus promoting reproductive isolation and, consequently, speciation. Whilst investigating the Jekyll gene which is essential for the procreation of barley, researchers from the IPK in Gatersleben have discovered that Jekyll occurs in form of two highly divergent allelic variants. (2019-06-26)

A new normal: Study explains universal pattern in fossil record
Instead of the typical bell-shaped curve, the fossil record shows a fat-tailed distribution, with extreme, outlier, events occurring with higher-than-expected probability. Using the same mathematical tools that describe stock market crashes, Santa Fe Institute scientists explain the evolutionary dynamics that give rise to universal patterns in the fossil record. (2019-06-26)

Love songs from paradise take a nosedive
The Galápagos Islands finches named after Charles Darwin are starting to sing a different tune because of an introduced pest on the once pristine environment. New research shows that Darwin's finch males whose beaks and nostril (naris) have been damaged by the parasitic invasion are producing 'sub-par song.' (2019-06-11)

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