Monday, September 11, 2006

 

Evolution in action at Kinabatangan valley, Malaysia (Opisthostoma snails)

Kota Kinabalu: The Kinabatangan valley is not just a haven for wildlife but is also a valuable natural laboratory of evolution, a team of University Malaysia Sabah scientists found.

"If Charles Darwin had not gone to the Galapagos Islands, his theory on the origin of the species could have been born in the Kinabatangan valley itself," said Dr Menno Schilthuizen, an associate professor at UMS Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation.

The Lower Kinabatangan region has long been known as one of the few remaining places in Sabah teeming with wildlife such as pygmy elephants, proboscis monkeys and orangutans.

The UMS researchers have now dubbed the valley as a "veritable evolution workshop" after observing various species of land snails and the adaptations made by these creatures, as well as their predators. [News from The Star, Kuala Lumpur; Orangutan, Opisthostoma snails, Behaviour]
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Based on the International Journal of Organic Evolution paper "Microgeographic Evolution of Snail Shell Shape and Predator Behavior" (Abstract)

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