Sunday, August 13, 2006

They Say You Want An Evolution

Well, ell, you know, wait a minute, it's a revolution they say you want. Forget it, but here's an interesting study that once again shows the dynamic nature of evolution.
Scientists at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) have found that invasive crab species may precipitate evolutionary change in blue mussels in as little as 15 years. The study, by UNH graduate student Aaren Freeman with associate professor of zoology James Byers and published in the Aug. 11 issue of the journal Science, indicates that such a response can evolve in an evolutionary nanosecond compared to the thousands of years previously assumed. The paper is called "Divergent induced responses to an invasive predator in marine mussel populations."

It's right up there with the finch's beak.

One of our lovely finchs here in the northwoods. They are such a delight in winter, the great color of the males stays with them.

This is the kind of study Northland College ought to be doing with the goddamn rusty crayfish. It would be interesting. The last time I heard about anyone doing any kind of research with that invasive crustacan, an undergrad was wondering about introducing Prozac into lakes infested with the crayfish. Tongue in cheek, I hoped. The rusty crayfish challenges predators, unlike the native species which darts under cover.

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