Essay On Evolution

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Eventually, this geographic separation leads to genetic isolation, and two distinct new species, B and C, form.I wrote these results up in a paper in 1971 called "The allopatric model and phylogeny in Paleozoic invertebrates," concluding that speciation has played a critically important role in evolution since the dawn of time.It was beginning to look like evolution is mostly correlated with speciation events. In the following year (1972) I published a longer paper with Stephen Jay Gould, with whom I had worked in graduate school.I had been trained to believe that evolution proceeds gradually, as depicted in Figure 1.Collecting all over the Midwest and up and down the Appalachian mountain chain over several summers, I was dismayed to detect no obvious evolutionary change across 6 million years and thousands of miles.Then it, too, spread westward, and the 17-column form became extinct. " I said to myself: This is a case of allopatric speciation.Lineages are splitting into descendant species, with the ancestral species persisting alongside the new, daughter species.Having learned from another paleontologist that the lenses of the eyes of these kinds of trilobites are arranged into vertical columns holding anywhere from one to more than 15 large, bulging lenses, I counted the lenses on each specimen.One day I suddenly realized that samples from different localities—different places in both time and space—differed mainly in the number of those vertical columns of lenses.© AMNH Is evolutionary change mostly dependent upon speciation, which occurs when one or more descendant species split from an ancestral one?Do most anatomical changes occur during these events? And how long does it take the process of speciation to work in geological time?


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