Navigation Links
Adaptive radiation


Adaptive radiation describes the rapid speciation of a single or a few species to fill many ecological niches. This is an evolutionary process driven by mutation and natural selection.

Adaptive radiation often occurs when a species is introduced to a new ecosystem, or when a species can survive in an environment that was unreachable before. For example, the Darwin's finches on the Galapagos islands developed from a single species of finches that reached the islands. Other examples include the introduction of predatory mammals to Australia by humans, the development of the first birds, which suddenly were able to expand their territory into the air, or the development of lung fish during the Devonian period, about 300 million years ago.

The dynamics of adaptive radiation is such that, within a relatively short time, many species derive from a single or a few ancestor species. From this large number of genetic combinations, only a few can survive on long term. After the rapid development of many new species, lots or most of them die out as quickly as they appeared. The surviving species are almost perfectly adapted to the new environment. The rise and fall of new species is now progressing very slowly, compared to the initial outburst of species.

There are three basic types of adaptive radiation. They are :

  1. General adaptation. A species that develops a radically new ability can reach new parts of its environment. An example of general adaptation is bird flight.
  2. Environmental change. A species that can, in contrast to the other species in the ecosystem, successfully survive in a radically changed environment will probably branch into new species that cover the new ecological niches created by the environmental change. An example of adaptive radiation as the result of an environmental change is the rapid spread and development of mammalian species after the extinction of the dinosaurs.
  3. Archipelagoes. Isolated ecosystems, such as islands and mountain areas, can be colonized by a new species which upon establishing itself undergoes rapid divergent evolution. Darwin's finches are examples of adaptive radiation occurring in an archipelago.

In science fiction sometimes adaptive radiation of humans is imagined. This often makes for interesting multi-species worlds.


'"/>


(Date:12/19/2014)... Calif. , Dec. 18, 2014  23andMe, Inc., the leading ... that pinpoints fine-scale differences in genetic ancestry of individuals from ... Since immigrants first arrived more than four hundred years ago, ... a meeting place for peoples from different continents. This study ...
(Date:12/17/2014)... , Dec. 15, 2014 Research and Markets ... the "Samsung Galaxy S5 - Home Button Synaptics ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130307/600769 ... iPhone 5S, Samsung introduces for the first time a ...
(Date:12/17/2014)...  HITLAB SM announced today its completion of a ... to current U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations. ... and smart phone application trials utilizing the highest principles ... is determined to improve global healthcare access, quality, and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):23andMe Study Sketches Genetic Portrait of the United States 223andMe Study Sketches Genetic Portrait of the United States 323andMe Study Sketches Genetic Portrait of the United States 4Samsung Galaxy S5 - Home Button Synaptics Fingerprint Sensor Technology Analysis 2HITLAB Completes GCP Audit for FDA Smart Device & App Compliance 2
... Harbour could be threatening the small animals that feed on ... seaweeds have the world,s highest levels of copper and lead ... small crustaceans that feed on a common brown seaweed, for ... levels found in some parts of the harbour, UNSW laboratory ...
... developed at NJIT for early diagnosis of Alzheimers, Parkinsons ... at a recent New Jersey Technology Council competition. ... Center, NeuroTrax www.neurotrax.com , a start-up company, was ... young companies and 500 entrepreneurs and investors. ...
... communicator, carrying impulses from neurons to skeletal muscle ... Now researchers at the University of Illinois have ... of the relay system that allows acetylcholine to ... in the current issue of Nature Structure & ...
Cached Biology News:Sydney harbors deadly diet for sea creatures 2NJIT start-up company NeuroTrax named best in show 2Researchers 'see' structure of open nicotinic acetylcholine ion channels 2Researchers 'see' structure of open nicotinic acetylcholine ion channels 3
Other biology definitionOther Tags