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Speciation in

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Madeline Riley

on 24 February 2014

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Transcript of Speciation in

in Mice

Theoretical Stage 1: Isolation
Theoretical Stage 2: Genetic Drift
An ice age hits populations of warm-climate dwelling mice hard, forcing some mice to hibernate and become diurnal. Because these mice are awake at different, they can no longer mate and are selected for by natural selection creating a new species in place of the areas warm-climate dwelling species.
Theoretical Stage 3: Mutations
Some mice develop a mutation that allows them to smell a pheromone released before mating season. Eventually an entirely new species forms that mates earlier than the ancestral species.
Theoretical Stage 4:
Theoretical Stage 5:
Mouse Madness
Over the course of time, mice have evolved and divided into about 40 different species, each naturally selected for by their niche (role) in the environment. An example of this is the Faeroe Island house mouse, (
Mus musculus

), which has rapidly speciated since its arrival as the Western European House Mouse (
Mus musculus)
on Faeroe Islands less than 250 years ago. Comparative morphology is the main source of evidence for this rapid example of speciation, as well as molecular evidence. Statistics showed all five island populations were clearly distinct, likely due to the founder effect. However the data were "disconcertingly heterogeneous," likely due to different characteristics scored depending on a relatively small number of different genes.
When a super continent breaks apart due to tectonic plate activity, mice from the continent drift apart on these sub continents. Once separated, these mice speciate based on their new climate and available niches. Most mice in warm, desert climates developed thin fur and tough paws, whereas mice in cold climates evolved thick fur coats with furry paws.
A small delta breaks off during an earthquake, creating an island off shore that is separated long enough to speciate.
Some mice mutate and develop long legs that are naturally selected for because they aid in running and jumping to evade predators, but the longer legs prevent mating with the ancestral species.
By Madeline Riley
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