Download The ghosts of evolution : nonsensical fruit, missing by Connie Barlow PDF

By Connie Barlow

A new imaginative and prescient is sweeping via ecological technology: The dense net of dependencies that makes up an atmosphere has won an additional dimension-the size of time. each box, woodland, and park is stuffed with residing organisms tailored for relationships with creatures which are now extinct. In a bright narrative, Connie Barlow exhibits how the belief of "missing companions" in nature developed from remoted, curious examples into an concept that's remodeling how ecologists comprehend the total natural world of the Americas. This attention-grabbing publication will improve the adventure of any novice naturalist, in addition to train us that the ripples of biodiversity loss round us are only the vanguard of what may develop into perilous cascades of extinction.

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The ghosts of evolution : nonsensical fruit, missing partners, and other ecological anachronisms

A brand new imaginative and prescient is sweeping via ecological technological know-how: The dense internet of dependencies that makes up an environment has received an further dimension-the size of time. each box, wooded area, and park is filled with dwelling organisms tailored for relationships with creatures which are now extinct. In a brilliant narrative, Connie Barlow indicates how the belief of "missing companions" in nature advanced from remoted, curious examples into an concept that's reworking how ecologists comprehend the whole natural world of the Americas.

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Additional resources for The ghosts of evolution : nonsensical fruit, missing partners, and other ecological anachronisms

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Descriptive details are also sometimes offered, and Gentry's descriptions are more than occasionally artful. " Paul Martin's name appears on a number of sheets, but his descriptions are perfunctory. Delonix data 21 Nov 1 9 6 5 collected by Paul S. " I ask. "I was there to visit Louis Leakey. " "Africa and Pleistocene Overkill" by Paul S. Martin was published in Nature one year later. This paper officially launched the idea that rapid colonization of the New World by humans ("fluted-point hunters") who had migrated across the Bering Land Bridge less than fifteen thousand years ago was the reason that mammoths, mastodons, ground sloths, glyptodonts, horses, camels, liptoterns, notoungulates, and other large mammals went extinct in the Western Hemisphere.

One way or another, avocado and gomphotheres became mutualists. And if not exactly the gomphotheres, then maybe the giant ground sloths or notoungulates like toxodon forged the extravagance of avocado fruits. " Sometimes it is prudent to hypothesize that the trait in question is, at least to some degree, anachronistic, and then to search for missing partners. Evolutionary ghost stories offer the best causal explanations forborne botanical and zoological puzzles. They also entertain our story-loving minds.

For all these reasons, the fruit of Crescentia alata does indeed qualify as a neotropical anachronism. The pod of a legume tree, Enterolobium cyclocarpum, was the candidate anachronism subjected to the most rigorous testing. Janzen reported his results in a pair of papers published in the journal Ecology just a few months before the anachronism hypothesis appeared in Science. * He conducted the research during the summers of 1978 and 1979. Experimentation was simple but labor intensive. Janzen fed pods of the guanacaste tree (commonly known as monkey ears) to ranch horses under carefully controlled conditions.

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