ADAPTIVE RADIATION

 ADAPTIVE RADIATION

Darwin’s Finches:

  • In Galapagos Islands Darwin observed small black birds later called Darwin’s Finches.
  • He realized that there were many varieties of finches in the same island.
  • All the varieties, he came across, evolved on the island itself.
  • Form the original seed-eating features, many other forms with altered beaks arose, enabling them to become insectivorous and vegetarian finches
  • This process of evolution of different species in a given geographical area starting from a point and literally radiating to other areas of geography (habitats) is called adaptive radiation.

Australian marsupial:

  • A number of marsupials each different from the other evolved from an ancestral stock. But all within the Australian island continent.
  • When more than one adaptive radiation appeared to have occurred in an isolated geographical area (representing different habitats), one can call this convergent evolution.
  • Placental mammals in Australia also exhibit adaptive radiation in evolving into varieties of such placental mammals each of which appears to be ‘similar’ to a corresponding marsupial (e.g. placental wolf and Tasmanian wolf-marsupial).

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