Archive for January 6th, 2012

January 6, 2012

The Daily Scoop: How Climate Change Has Driven Evolution

Two articles today on the Daily Scoop on the topic of how climate change has and is impacting evolution.

Conditions of Life: How Climate Change Has Driven Evolution
We are the products of our environment — and that goes for egrets and  elephants as much as human beings. The history of all life on this planet has  been one of change and adaptation. The environment changes, and life adapts.  That’s evolution in a nutshell.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise that as the planet’s climate has changed  through the geologic past — and it’s changed severely, from the hot and humid earth of the  Triassic period to the ice ages that ended just 20,000 years ago — life has  changed along with it. In a new paper published in the Proceedings of the  National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), a group of researchers  plot out just how the changing climate has impacted mammalian evolution in  North America over the past 65 million years. They find that there have been six  distinct waves of species diversity, and that the driving force of those waves  has likely been climate change.
Read more…

World-first hybrid shark found off Australia
Scientists said on Tuesday that they had discovered the world’s first hybrid sharks in Australian waters, a potential sign the predators were adapting to cope with climate change.

The mating of the local Australian black-tip shark with its global counterpart, the common black-tip, was an unprecedented discovery with implications for the entire shark world, said lead researcher Jess Morgan.
Read more…

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