Author Topic: Fat lips evolve at record speed  (Read 8099 times)

Offline fluffymoochicken

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Fat lips evolve at record speed
« on: May 16, 2010, 12:14:09 am »


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Fish in a remote crater lake in Nicaragua are splitting into separate species at breakneck speed.

It has taken the lake cichlids just 100 generations and as many years to evolve an entirely new physical feature: very fat lips. Most estimates of how fast species evolve new features are based on models, which generally indicate that it could take up to 10,000 generations. Some models suggest just tens of generations are enough, but such rapid change has never been documented before.

Axel Meyer at the University of Konstanz in Germany and his team say the fat-lipped fish occupy a different ecological niche from their thin-lipped cousins, despite living in the same lake, which fills a volcanic crater formed 1800 years ago. They don't eat the same diet nor do they like to mate with each other – though lab experiments show they can still interbreed. Meyer says the fact that they do not mate with each other in the wild suggests they are well on the way to becoming separate species.

The new variety have narrower, pointy heads, ideal for nibbling insects and larvae from crevices in the volcanic rock, and fat lips to cushion their ventures into the sharp crags. The thin-lipped variety have sturdier jaws and extra teeth to crack the shells of the snails they feed on.

"When scientists catch incipient species in the process of divergence, it is important, because it is difficult to catch the process in action," says Todd Streelman of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, who also studies cichlid evolution. "This new work nicely matches theories developed in the 1990s suggesting that species could develop rapidly even when they share the same environment."

Journal reference: BMC Biology, vol 8, p 60

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1 ... speed.html
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Offline Sega Uranus

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Re: Fat lips evolve at record speed
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2010, 01:10:09 am »
This is really fascinating, only 100 years? Any idea what started the change?

But dear lord it is a good thing Kogen is banned or else he would he having a field day with that title!
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Offline fluffymoochicken

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Re: Fat lips evolve at record speed
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2010, 04:19:36 am »
Quote from: "Sega Uranus"
This is really fascinating, only 100 years? Any idea what started the change?

But dear lord it is a good thing Kogen is banned or else he would he having a field day with that title!
Lol, poor Kogen. He missed out on so much fun.

I'll try and find more articles about this news story for you, if I can. Although it is remarkable how quickly the changes happened, this is simply how evolution works. Some of the fish evolved new traits which allowed them to eat creatures living in the volcanic rock, and these traits have allowed them to survive and produce new generations of fish with pointy heads and fat lips.

This is proof of evolution that we can easily see and observe. It's very exciting news. ^_^
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Offline crackdude

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Re: Fat lips evolve at record speed
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2010, 06:38:34 am »
This doesn't make any sense.

It sounds like 2 different species have been there all along, but back then they were recorded to be all the same thing due to their likeness.
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Offline fluffymoochicken

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Re: Fat lips evolve at record speed
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2010, 01:54:24 pm »
Quote from: "crackdude"
It sounds like 2 different species have been there all along, but back then they were recorded to be all the same thing due to their likeness.
No, you are mistaken, because they are still the same species... for now. Lab tests have proven that they are. The fish have evolved new traits quickly, and are on the verge of diverging into separate species.
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Offline Sharky

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Re: Fat lips evolve at record speed
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2010, 09:43:32 pm »
I suspect what happened to make two different species so quickly is that one fish somewhere along the line was born with a strange mutation that actually worked to its advantage...Which is rare but happens. One that is also herreditory so it passed on to its offspring.

That will probably account for the speed in which the change happened.
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Offline Emmett The Crab

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Re: Fat lips evolve at record speed
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2010, 10:14:08 pm »
Quote from: "Sharky"
I suspect what happened to make two different species so quickly is that one fish somewhere along the line was born with a strange mutation that actually worked to its advantage...Which is rare but happens. One that is also herreditory so it passed on to its offspring.

That will probably account for the speed in which the change happened.

That's how evolution works.
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Offline George

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Re: Fat lips evolve at record speed
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2010, 11:26:10 pm »
Do not get it, mutation is part of the genetic code?
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Offline Sega Uranus

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Re: Fat lips evolve at record speed
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2010, 12:20:27 am »
Quote from: "George"
Do not get it, mutation is part of the genetic code?

Mutation is when your DNA changes in a way your body does not understand and it learns to adapt it. I think that is the easiest way I can explain it.

Basically even bad effects like a much larger amount of people today being allergic to peanuts is part of evolution. Scientists are working on the reverse so less people are, this would also be considered part of evolution.
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Offline George

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Re: Fat lips evolve at record speed
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2010, 03:22:43 am »
Shooting them all in the face will wipe that out.

Get everyone with AIDS and put them in an island. Blow it up.

Great success?
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Offline crackdude

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Re: Fat lips evolve at record speed
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2010, 07:50:19 am »
So what I'm getting is that possibly this is a genetic disease that is originating a new specie?

That's stupid. That's like saying that autism is a new human specie evolving.
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Offline Sharky

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Re: Fat lips evolve at record speed
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2010, 08:36:20 am »
Quote from: "Emmett The Crab"
Quote from: "Sharky"
I suspect what happened to make two different species so quickly is that one fish somewhere along the line was born with a strange mutation that actually worked to its advantage...Which is rare but happens. One that is also herreditory so it passed on to its offspring.

That will probably account for the speed in which the change happened.

That's how evolution works.

I know... But I'm saying there must have been an extremely radical mutation at one point that by fluke was more of a help then a hinder. That would have sped up the whole process.
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Offline Sharky

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Re: Fat lips evolve at record speed
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2010, 08:47:22 am »
Quote from: "crackdude"
So what I'm getting is that possibly this is a genetic disease that is originating a new specie?

That's stupid. That's like saying that autism is a new human specie evolving.

No, because that isn’t hereditary... and it doesn’t have any benefits.
Let me explain in a simple way.

Imagine there is a white moth that lives in a forest full of white trees... It has one predator... EVIL PIDGEONS!
The moth is perfectly suited to its environment, the white moth can land on a white tree and be somewhat disgusted. Of course every so often an... (autistic) moth is born that is slightly darker then the others, this is a terrible mutation because it's very visible to the EVIL PIDGEONS and gets picked off and nommed upon very quickly.

But, then... a volcano (in Iceland) erupts and a big ash cloud descends on the forest killing all the trees which then turn black... Suddenly the moths are extremely visible to the EVIL PIDGEONS! They start picking them off and nomming them much faster.

Then another darker autistic moth is born...  Suddenly, this is a GOOD mutation, chances are while it's still visible because its not THAT dark it'll live longer then the pure white moths on the dark trees. The dark moth lives long enough to have offspring, the offspring also have the hereditary dark mutation, the darkest of THOSE survive longer then the others, then the darkest of the next generation, and the next and the next until the moths are BLACK!

Thats evolution 101, and thats science jack!
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Offline Aki-at

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Re: Fat lips evolve at record speed
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2010, 09:04:35 am »
That's the example I was taught at school too!

What are you Portuguese taught at school these days?
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Offline fluffymoochicken

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Re: Fat lips evolve at record speed
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2010, 09:29:52 am »
Quote from: "crackdude"
So what I'm getting is that possibly this is a genetic disease that is originating a new specie?
No. You're not reading the article at all. It does not mention "disease" anywhere.

Get your facts straight.

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What are you Portuguese taught at school these days?
That's what I'm wondering. They do give elementary lessons in biological sciences, right?
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