Friday, November 24, 2017

Speciation In Action

So, in 1981, a single male cactus finch got blown to the Galapagos...

...and became foundation sire of a new species. His offspring were larger than the other finches on the island, and found a new niche - and now their songs are different enough not to interbreed.

This happened in two generations. Hybridization triggering speciation is known, but hasn't been observed directly.

Two generations. More evidence in favor of the idea of punctuated equilibrium? Speciation happening only when needed...but very, very fast indeed.