Category Archives: speciation

12 days of evolution. #5: Have we seen new species arise?

This is a video after my own heart, since it’s about speciation: the splitting of a single lineage into two or more lineages unable to exchange genes. The question at hand, since this series—put together by PBS and “It’s Okay to be Smart”—is a long refutation of common creationist arguments, is this one: “Can we […]

The “coywolf”: a new species of canid?

At least three readers have pointed me to articles, one in The Economist and the other in Raw Story, arguing that a new species of canid, the “coywolf” (also called a “wolfote”) is emerging before our eyes as wolves (Canis lupus), domestic dogs, and coyotes (Canis latrans) all hybridize to form a distinct entity. Such “hybrid […]

Cameroon lake cichlids probably did not speciate sympatrically: Part 2

Yesterday I gave the background necessary for understanding a new paper in Evolution by Christopher H. Martin et al. (reference and link below). Today I’ll briefly describe the paper’s findings—findings that cast doubt on one of our premier examples of sympatric speciation. That example was the existence of assemblages of cichlid fish in small volcanic crater […]

Cameroon lake cichlids probably did not speciate sympatrically: Part 1

I will break up my discussion of the paper below into two parts that will appear today and tomorrow. This is because I want to avoid a single long post that may put off readers. I give references to all the papers mentioned at the bottom of the post. All evolutionists agree, and the data show, that […]

Where did bedbugs come from?

Human bedbugs, Cimex lectularius, are “true bugs,” that is, insects in the order Hemiptera. They are an infernal pest, sucking the blood out of people and leaving a nasty, itchy rash. (I was bitten only once, but it was in a fleabag hotel in Peru, and there were many bites all over me, with the rash […]

Felid Face of the Day

by Greg Mayer Not only did we find much commendable in Andrew Sullivan’s coverage of the pollsters vs. pundits dispute, but Andrew has now taken to posting felid pictures, too! He’s always been a diehard goggieophile. Plus, there’s relevance to readers of WEIT, or, even more so, Jerry’s first book, with Allen Orr, Speciation: the […]

Speciation observed – again

By Matthew Cobb Some religious folk accept that micro-evolution can be observed – shifts in allele frequency due to natural selection – but argue vociferously that no one has ever seen one species evolve out of another. We know that one reason for this apparent lack of evidence for speciation is due to the time-scales […]

Clouded leopards and the species problem

by Greg Mayer Alert WEIT-blog reader Dominic has drawn my attention to a not yet published study of clouded leopards, that I’d seen mentioned by the BBC, but I had not seen the actual paper (well, actually, nobody has seen the actual paper— more below on this). There are two issues here, both of which […]

Tuataras and the species problem

by Greg Mayer Tuataras are very interesting animals: endemic to New Zealand, and the sole survivors of an ancient and once more widespread order of reptiles, the Sphenodontida, whose closest relatives are the squamates (lizards+snakes). I noted some of their distinctive traits in an earlier post. When a friend went to New Zealand for a […]

Hybridization and parthenogenesis in whiptail lizards

by Greg Mayer Not much in the way of culinary pleasures here. (Although Jerry’s piece on the Inquisition killed my appetite, anyway). Reader Pete Moulton asked for some references on hybridization and parthenogenesis in whiptail lizards (Cnemidophorus [or Aspidoscelis] and related teiid lizards), in particular C. (A.) uniparens. A. uniparens is a triploid unisexual. It […]


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