Wednesday, March 17, 2010
On pages 86-88 of the book, Jerry Coyne discusses the implications of evolution on landmasses separated by the ocean. In this particular case, he cites the example of the island "Más a Tierra," where Alejandro Selkirk took refuge when he was put ashore by his ship. All of the animals there were evolving in different ways from the animals on shore on the big continents, yet the reasons behind why this particular phenomenon happens is the question in this prompt. What conditions must exist for island organisms to evolve into an "endemic" status? How would these conditions affect the traits selected in these island organisms? Also, how come these separations happen in abundance on islands yet on distant continents like Africa and South America there will be similar species found?