The 'Red Queen' Verified: "Biological Systems Must Continually Evolve to Avoid Extinction"
Follow the Daily Galaxy
Add Daily Galaxy to igoogle page AddThis Feed Button Join The Daily Galaxy Group on Facebook Follow The Daily Galaxy Group on twitter
 

« HyperWinds of Venus --One of the Unsolved Mysteries of the Solar System | Main | "Interstellar Gas Clouds Seed New Planets With Building Blocks of DNA" (Today's Featured Post) »

June 24, 2013

The 'Red Queen' Verified: "Biological Systems Must Continually Evolve to Avoid Extinction"

 

           The DNA code

 

Biologits at the University of California, Berkeley have found that a lack of new emerging species contributes to extinction over a period of millions of years. The research team studied 19 groups of mammals that either are extinct or in decline from a past peak in diversity, as in the case of horses, elephants, rhinos and others.

The study was conducted by Charles Marshall, director of the UC Berkeley Museum of Paleontology and professor of integrative biology, and former UC Berkeley post-doctoral fellow Tiago Quental. It was designed to test a popular evolutionary theory called the “Red Queen hypothesis,” named after Lewis Carroll’s character who, in the book Through the Looking-Glass described her country as a place where “it takes all the running YOU can do, to keep in the same place.”

In biology, this means that animals and plants don’t just disappear because of bad luck in a static and unchanging environment. Instead, they face constant change — a deteriorating environment and more successful competitors and predators — that requires them to continually adapt and evolve new species just to survive.

“Each group has either lost, or is losing, to an increasingly difficult environment,” Marshall said. “These groups’ demise was at least in part due to loss to the Red Queen — that is, a failure to keep pace with a deteriorating environment.”

The animal groups were initially driven to higher diversity until they reached the carrying capacity of their environment, or the maximum number of species their environment could hold. After that, their environment deteriorated to the point where there was too much diversity to be sustained, leading to their extinction.

“In fact, our data suggest that biological systems may never be in equilibrium at all, with groups expanding and contracting under persistent and rather, geologically speaking, rapid change,” he said. “The findings should help biologists understand the pressures on today’s flora and fauna and what drove evolution and extinction in the past.”

Reference: Tiago B. Quental, Charles R. Marshall, How the Red Queen Drives Terrestrial Mammals to Extinction, Science Express, 2013, DOI: 10.1126/science.1239431

The Daily Galaxy via University of California, Berkeley and Science Express

Comments

So, I can see that we, mankind, is focused on keeping everything the same when it comes to global warming and global changes. Why do we not focus on the idea of adaptation and change? Climate change; social change; Why are we so stuck in the mud? Are we more like the dinosaurs or adaptive species?

Man HAS adapted to climate change. That is why you find humans living in the Arctic and the tropics. We are flexible and adaptive.

It's true, there is no balance that environmentalism preaches.. More power Scotty.

And there is no anthropological global warming, as environmentalism claims, just GIGO modeling scam.


Post a comment

« HyperWinds of Venus --One of the Unsolved Mysteries of the Solar System | Main | "Interstellar Gas Clouds Seed New Planets With Building Blocks of DNA" (Today's Featured Post) »




1


2


3


4


5


6


7


8





9


11


12


13


14


15

Our Partners

technology partners

A


19


B

About Us/Privacy Policy

For more information on The Daily Galaxy and to contact us please visit this page.



E