Hot Comments: Is Hyper-Evolution Possible?
"Where Am I? Augmented-Reality's Killer App: Personal Visual Navigation

Is Hyper Evolution Possible? A Galaxy Classic

Asian_moon_race_2 Think it takes thousands or even millions of years for animals to evolve significantly new traits? Think again. New research lends just a touch of credibility to the idea behind the popular sci-fi TV series Heroes, which portrays certain humans as having quickly evolved new astounding traits in response to increasingly tumultuous environmental pressures.

In 1971 biologists moved 5 adult pairs of Italian wall lizards from their island home of Pod Kopiste, in the South Adriatic Sea, and introduced them to the neighboring island of Pod Mrcaru. An international team of researchers discovered that introducing these small, green-backed lizards, Podarcis sicula, to a new environment caused them to undergo shockingly fast and large-scale evolutionary changes.

Researchers returned to the islands twice a year for three years, in the spring and summer of 2004, 2005 and 2006. Captured lizards were transported to a field laboratory and measured for snout-vent length, head dimensions and body mass. Tail clips taken for DNA analysis confirmed that the Pod Mrcaru lizards were genetically identical to the source population on Pod Kopiste. In other words, there is no doubt that these lizards are the offspring of the 1971 transplant. The results of the study were recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The lizards evolved entirely new digestive system features to cope with dietary changes, evolved bigger heads and also ceased to defend territories—an instinct once very integral to the species behavior back on their original home territory. 

“Striking differences in head size and shape, increased bite strength and the development of new structures in the lizard’s digestive tracts were noted after only 36 years, which is an extremely short time scale,” remarks Duncan Irschick, a professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Observed changes in head morphology were caused by adaptation to a different food source explains Irschick. The lizards on the barren island of Pod Kopiste were well-suited to catching mobile prey, feasting mainly on insects. Life on Pod Mrcaru, where they had never lived before, offered them an abundant supply of plant foods, including the leaves and stems from native shrubs. Analysis of the stomach contents of lizards on Pod Mrcaru showed that their diet included up to two-thirds plants, depending on the season, a large increase over the population of Pod Kopiste.

“As a result, individuals on Pod Mrcaru have heads that are longer, wider and taller than those on Pod Kopiste, which translates into a big increase in bite force,” says Irschick. “Because plants are tough and fibrous, high bite forces allow the lizards to crop smaller pieces from plants, which can help them break down the indigestible cell walls.”

Examination of the lizard’s digestive tracts revealed something even more surprising. Eating more plants caused the development of new structures called cecal valves, designed to slow the passage of food by creating fermentation chambers in the gut, where microbes can break down the difficult to digest portion of plants. Cecal valves, which were found in hatchlings, juveniles and adults on Pod Mrcaru, have never been reported for this species, including the source population on Pod Kopiste.

“These structures actually occur in less than 1 percent of all known species of scaled reptiles,” says Irschick. “Our data shows that evolution of novel structures can occur on extremely short time scales. Cecal valve evolution probably went hand-in-hand with a novel association between the lizards on Pod Mrcaru and microorganisms called nematodes that break down cellulose, which were found in their hindguts.”

Change in diet also affected the population density and social structure of the Pod Mrcaru population. Because plants provide a larger and more predictable food supply, there were more lizards in a given area on Pod Mrcaru. Food was obtained through browsing rather than the active pursuit of prey, and the lizards had given up defending territories.

“What is unique about this finding is that rapid evolution can affect not only the structure and function of a species, but also influence behavioral ecology and natural history,” says Irschick.

So next time you see Hayden Panettiere on TV running around in her cheer skirt regenerating her limbs, just think how the premise may be just slightly less crazy that you previously suspected.

Posted by Rebecca Sato.

Related Galaxy posts:

Is the Human Species in Evolution's Fast Lane? -A Galaxy Classic
Bringing Ancient Human Viruses Back to Life: A Jurassic Park or Salvation?
Loren Eiseley on Evolution: Transcending the Cosmos -A Galaxy Insight

Study Source: University of Massachusetts Amherst

Comments

Is it really evolution if they have identical DNA? Wouldn't Evolution require *different* DNA? This sounds more like adaptation to me.

Is there a difference between adaptation and evolution?

We're led to believe they're the same thing.

E.g. are the changes small changes or big changes? If the lizards were introduced into the ocean floor, would they have grown gills by now? Or would they have died by drowning?

See stickleback evolution for more examples of this type of rapid change in shape:

Albert et al.
The genetics of adaptive shape shift in stickleback: pleiotropy and effect size. Evolution 61: 76-85.

Evolution does require a change in DNA. Without having read the mentioned publication I presume they haven't sequenced entire genomes, but rather made a phylogenetic tree based on parts of the genomes (fingerprints), since that would be the usual procedure to investigate common ancestry.

Evolution is -by the way- one of the mechanisms by which adaptation takes place, but not the only one. Individuals show plasticity in their responses to the environment, not to mention the 'memes' that are all the rage in evolution-land...

It may also be that recessive traits which occur naturally though infrequently were suddenly highly adaptive to the environment. Kind of like if little people suddenly had a natural advantage due to really great free condos built with small doors.
If a recessive trait gives its holder a natural advantage, that trait becomes dominant in the existing population. Especially if you starve to death or get eaten without it...

Hi, I love this site ! Really fascinating !

Everybody needs to tune to the pulse of the galaxy !

As for this artickle, how about showing us how they look like using the classic before and after pictures ?

cause we start losing ground here :

http://www.harunyahya.net/V2/Lang/en/Pg/WorkDetail/Number/13427

This next video is about the golden ratio, how it's tied to the Ka'bah and its global positionning, matched and backed by the ayah in the Qur'an to its very intricate but precise (scientific?) editing — explained right in the end. Astounding secret revealed ! Rather stunning for a 7th century illeterate...

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x9h9pf_the-signs-pt13-le-miracle-de-la-kaa_webcam

Cheers!

Could this be evidence of what Stephen J Gould referred to as "Punctuated Equilibrium"?

actually though i ain't a professional or sort of but a grade 8th student but i am going against this theory of hyper evolution because according to what i know it isn't something very new and maybe is about the same to adaptive radiation or darwin's theory because these type of certain changes certainly need to occur and this is the reason that all creatures that darwin studied were alive just because those creatures had had a speedy evolution so they were able to survive all those years i mean that this theory isn't new but something that has already been discovered so it's just something quite wayoff for me on the basis of the above experiment.

Evolution does require a change in DNA. Without having read the mentioned publication I presume they haven't sequenced entire genomes, but rather made a phylogenetic tree based on parts of the genomes (fingerprints), since that would be the usual procedure to investigate common ancestry.

One Sunday womens timberland boots morning, I was told that someone was waiting for me in timberland 6 boots office. The young person who answered the rectory timberland boots door said that it was "the woman who said she left all the notes." When I saw her mens timberland boots I was shocked, since I immediately recognized her from church but had no timberland boots outlet idea that it was she who wrote the notes. She was sitting in a chair in timberland roll top boots office with her hands folded in her lap. Her head was bowed and when she raised white timberland boots it to look at me, she could barely smile without pain. Her face was disfigured, and timberland classic boat skin so tight from surgical procedures that smiling or laughing was very difficult for her timberland kids waterproof boots . She had suffered terribly from treatment to remove the growths timberland shoes that had so marred her face. We chatted for a while that Sunday morning and agreed to meet for timberland womens premium boots lunch later that week. As it turned out we went to lunch several timberland boots women times, and she always wore a hat during the meal. I think that treatments of some timberland shoe company sort had caused a lot of her hair to fall out. We shared things about our lives. I told her about my women timberland shoes schooling and growing up. She told me that she had worked for timberland 6 inch years for an insurance company. She never mentioned family, and I did not ask. I have thought about her timberland mens custom often over the years and how she struggled in a society that places an incredible premium on looks, class, wealth and all the other fineries of life. She suffered from a disfigurement that cannot be made to look attractive. I know that her condition black timberland boots hurt her deeply.CLS http://www.timberland6inch.com/

love it ,perfect!

"everything". Some ideas will stick to the wall and some won't, but pursuit of the knowledge is the primary goal (IMHO). One thing I would say for certain, is that the ultimate answer to existence will surely be more bizarre than anything we could possibly imagine. Branes cyclically leaking dark matter/gravity t

Sixty-six agonizing days nike air force one after their gold and copper mine collapsed above them, 33 miners anxiously awaited a way out early Saturday as a drill carved into the last layers of rock above their underground purgatory.Outside the mine,mens air force one mid relatives staying in the tents and motor homes known as "Camp Hope" spent a restless night waiting to hear the siren blast that would announce the drill's success.The "Plan B" drill was poised to cheap air force 1 25th win a three-way race against two other drills to carve a hole wide enough for an escape capsule to pull air force 1 25th the miners out one by one.While "Plan A" and "Plan C" stalled after repeatedly veering off course, officials said Friday that the "Plan B" drill was nearing the miners at a point 2,047 feet (624 meters) below womens air force 1 mid the surface. http://www.nikeairforceone.us/

Does anybody really know what is this matter about? I am not messing around, for real, I am just kind of slow handling this sort of information. I apologize if somebody think I am messing around, because I am actually not.

The Right time to Pair With, The Best Swarovski Necklaces to EnjoyDraw up an Inventory of the Temptation and Demerits of Swarovski Crystal What to Wear to Celebration? - the Best Choice. Hey! How Can You Disregard On Fire Swarovski Rings ? The Dos and Mistaken Ideas of swarovski outlet The New Swarovski Bracelets for WinterLet's Find Most Dramatic Swarovski Pierced Earrings for Our Dear Mommy. Sean Penn Choose Excellent Hilary Swank for Swarovski Pendants InspirationWhat is the Best For this Year? Impeccable Swarovski Bangles Absolutely!Suit on , Enjoy the best Swarovski Beads. the Best Wardrobe Staples for Mistress This Year3 New You Should Know5 Troubles You Should Perceive About Unique Gifts Most Dandy 3 Deportments that May Bring Spoil to Your Must-Have Swarovski Jewellery Super Swarovski Keyholders In Vogue, The Top 5 Best Swarovski Jewelry

10 Harmful Habits That Will are at the Bottom of Scrape to Your Swarovski Brooch How to Deal with the Stain of your Swarovski Crystal What is Best for 70 Somethings? Exquisite Swarovski Outlet! 4 Things You Have to Appreciate About swarovski christmas gifts Why Ladies all Prefer Swarovski Bracelet ? God Knows! What Is A Good Buy? Shining Swarovski Keyholders !Last Month Jessica Alba was Criticized for Wearing Swarovski Necklace 10 Most Agreeable Vouchers: Swarovski Bangle Gifts of Swarovski Keyholders for Under $100W. You Must Remember 9 Points of Swarovski Sets Swarovski Ring , the Necessity of Beauty for from 2010The Don’ts of Swarovski Small Leather Goods You Should KnowSeize the Time!! Niece all Choose Swarovski Cufflinks

A very good post ,I like it very much ,hope you will give another post asap

Interesting idea, but it's probably too strong to say that Turok and Steinhardt "believe" it. It's an hypothesis they are putting forward, which now needs to be tested before anyone, including themselves, can believe it.

possessing the technology to support Hyper-Threading. Because of this Phenom II X4 965 can count on a full-fledged competition only with those of Lynnfied, which will be treated to a series of Core i5-700, but does not support this technology, Core i7-800.
I really liket...thank you

nice blog..do well!!

Fantabulous, out of this world…great man, you have proved the world that innovation is not lost from the universe. I am so influenced by your way of expression; I think I will work to improve mine…great going dude!!!

I like the image, i think that look crazy.

Hey, Really great work,I would like to join your blog anyway so please continue sharing with us,......

Thank You a ton for writing such a wonderful piece of information. Keep sharing such ideas in the future as well. This was actually what I was looking for, and I am glad to came here! Thanks for sharing the such information with us.

Thank You a ton for writing such a wonderful piece of information. Keep sharing such ideas in the future as well. This was actually what I was looking for, and I am glad to came here! Thanks for sharing the such information with us.
http://www.lasixmedication.info/soma


Thank You a ton for writing such a wonderful piece of information. Keep sharing such ideas in the future as well. This was actually what I was looking for, and I am glad to came here! Thanks for sharing the such information with us.Generic Darvocet N

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)