Category Archives: adaptation

The simpler cichlid: a recent adaptive radiation

If I was asked to name a few of the most compelling systems in evolutionary biology, I’d certainly start with Darwin’s Finches. Next might come peppered moths, African cichlids, stickleback, Caribbean Anolis lizards, or Lenski’s E. coli. What’s interesting about … Continue reading

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Searching for heroic MHC genes in the fight against fungal takeover

Frogs have been disappearing all around the world in the past few decades. The reasons for these declines have been complex, but one of the biggest players is a nasty disease with an even nastier-sounding name: chytridiomycosis. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is the … Continue reading

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What makes a range?

Why do species have restricted geographic distributions? Classic ecological perspectives tell us distribution limits occur where ecological parameters coincide with the boundaries of ecological niches. Evolutionary perspectives, on the other hand, surmise distribution boundaries reflect a failure of niche evolution. Though small … Continue reading

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The why’s of sex

Sex isn’t quite what it seems – while superficially wasteful in an evolutionary sense (why inherit on only one half of your genes, when you can inherit all of them asexually, or why waste resources in mating when you don’t … Continue reading

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When times are good or bad, happy or sad, viral quasispecies like to stay together

We’ve known for a long time that symbioses are important across all walks of life. Clownfish and sea anemones are obligate symbionts, and bacteria found in legume root nodules help fix nitrogen. In a nice review published recently in Evolutionary … Continue reading

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There and back again: an angiosperm’s tale

Eelgrass (Zostera marina) is the dominant seagrass in the northern hemisphere and provides the foundation of highly productive ecosystems that rival tropical rain forests and coral reefs in ecosystem services. Zostera isn’t really a grass, but a monocot, like a … Continue reading

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The Carnivorous Rodents of Southeast Asia

Whoa, Wallace. There be carnivorous rats on those islands. Sixty-two species, to be exact, across the broader Indo-Australian Archipelago. Among them are small- and large-bodied rats, worm-eaters with elongated snouts (“vermivores”), and even amphibious forms (Fig. 1), and they are … Continue reading

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