Monday, March 29, 2010
On page 51, Coyne makes observations on the 'devolution' of whales; the process in which a potential land dweller returned to an aquatic habitat. At that point, however, it was highly likely that the land animals had sustained a reliable food source and was able to survive effectively. Even with the dying off of aquatic predators, why would natural selection favor the return to the water? Also, how would this 'devolution' progress? Air breathing evolved from lack of oxygen in water and mutations to be able to extract oxygen from the air. What are some adaptations that allow a land dweller that moved into the water to be able to conserve oxygen from air while underwater?