Science, Just Science

20 November 2008

Stanford Medicine Magazine: Something Fishy Is Going On

Filed under: News,Science — Kyuuketsuki @ 2:09 pm

Research On Sticklebacks Blows Anti-Evolution Arguments Out Of The Water

by
AMY ADAMS

More than 10,000 years ago glaciers covered the land, and a 4-inch, heavily armoured fish called the threespine stickleback cruised the ocean waters, gobbling up larvae and other prey. These fish were ubiquitous coastal denizens throughout the Northern Hemisphere.

Then something potentially tragic happened — the ice age ended and glaciers began to recede. Groups of sticklebacks swam up newly formed streams and became stranded in the many freshwater lakes that sprang up in the trail of the ebbing glaciers. The fish, once suited for an ocean environment, had to adapt or die.

Sticklebacks competed for food and mates and struggled to avoid predators and parasites in their new environments. These forces shaped which fish survived and reproduced. In lakes with quick predators, the smallest, sleekest sticklebacks prevailed. In other environments, slower, bottom-dwelling sticklebacks were best able to avoid predators. Still other populations developed bright colours, new ways of feeding or the ability to cope with more or less salt in the water. In all, sticklebacks became so diverse that naturalists originally divided them into 40 different species.

Some adaptations were particularly remarkable — some fish populations lost entire fins, completely rearranged their jaws, doubled their number of teeth or shed their armoured plates. Creationists might say that God gave those sticklebacks the tools they needed to survive. Most biologists say, What a gorgeous example of evolution at work.

[Read The Rest Of The Article Here]

James “Kyuuketsuki” Rocks (UK Tech Portal)

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