Monday, October 6, 2014

Islands and Speciation

Thoughts

  1. The theory of evolution of species and what Islam and the Quran teach, how can they be reconciled?
  2. In Upper Egypt, people are more isolated then those in the Nile Delta area. What effect, if any, does this have on them?
  3. Taking plant species from such remote islands and reintroducing them elsewhere would be an interesting idea.
  4. Breeding, of animals, taken from elsewhere can be interesting.
  5. 'Specialization' of humans when isolated.
  6. Specialization of coexisting humans.
  7. How and why do populations diverge despite being in the same geographic location?

Digest

  • Galápagos Islands are volcanic islands
    • Location: Isolated in the Pacific Ocean about 1000 km west of Ecuador and 750 km from the island of Cocos, which is itself 500 km from Central America.
    • Description: At more than 500 m above sea level the vegetation is open grassland. Below this is a humid zone of forest that grades into a coastal strip of desert vegetation with some endemic species of prickly pear cactus (Opuntia).
  • Darwin's finches: Fourteen species of finch are found on the islands.
  • Microsatellite: The evolutionary relationships amongst them have been traced by molecular techniques
  • The 14 distinct species of finches differ in shape and feeding habits.
  • Isolation of individual islands within the archipelago has led to the evolution of a series of species each matching its own environment.
Small ground finch (Geospiza fuliginosa)
Small ground finch (Geospiza fuliginosa)

Questions

  1. How do populations specialize despite not being geographically separated?
  2. What islands, other than land surrounded by water, exist? (Oases?)
  3. Let's explore the interesting subject of rare and specialized species in isolated islands and the process by which they evolve!