Watching new species evolve in real time

Sometimes evolution proceeds much more rapidly than we might think. Genetic analysis makes it possible to detect the earliest stages of species formation and to gain a better understanding of speciation processes. For example, a study just published in PLOS Genetics by researchers from Eawag and the University of Bern – investigating rapid speciation in threespine stickleback in and around Lake Constance – shows that a species can begin to diverge very rapidly, even when the two daughter species breed alongside one another simultaneously.

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