When Evolutionary adaptation occurs rapidly
Some fish and maybe other smaller critters are showing that just because you are smaller does not mean you cannot adapt faster than the big guys.
What’s the secret to surviving during times of environmental change?
In The American Naturalist publication a recent study cited that guppy populations introduced into new habitats developed new and advantageous traits in just a few years. This is one of only a few studies to look at adaptation and survival in a wild population.The research team led by Swanne Pamela Gordon from the University of California, Riverside studied 200 guppies that had been taken from the Yarra River in Trinidad and introduced into two different guppy free areas in the nearby Damier River. One Damier site was predator-free and the other contained fish that occasionally preyed on guppies.
Eight years later, the team revisited the Damier guppies and found that the females had increased the number of offspring in the site with the predators and decreased production in the predator free zone.
Did these adaptations increase survival rates?
To find out a new group of marked guppies from the Yarra, were introduced in the Damier alongside the eight year veterans and found that the adapted guppies had a 54 to 59 percent survival advantage over the more recently introduced group. The greater the survival rate the greater change the species will survive.
Excerpts and Image courtesy of Terradaily.com/reports/When_Evolution_Is_Not_So_Slow_And_Gradual