Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Rapid evolution

Interesting 15 minute talk here from Professor David Skelly. His study of the Cane Toad in Australia suggests that very rapid evolutionary changes since its introduction as a foreign species in 1935 account for its unanticipated ability to spread to new forms of habitat.

He is now looking at how species might adapt to climate change in North America, comparing populations of tadpoles in warm and in cool ponds.

What struck me, though, is that while both AGW and the cane toad in Australia have a history of the same order of magnitude, some tens of decades, it has been possible to observe changes in the toad, introduced from South America, but not in species of amphibians living in North America.

Climate change, it appears, has yet to start happening - at least, if this is anything to go by.

Tim Blair noticed something similar.

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