Evolutionary radiation: Difference between revisions

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An '''evolutionary radiation''' is an increase in [[taxonomy|taxonomic]] diversity or [[morphology (biology)|morphological]] disparity, due to [[adaptation|adaptive]] change or the opening of [[ecospace]].<ref name=Wesley-Hunt2005>{{cite doi|10.1666.2F0094-8373.282005.29031.3C0035:TMDOCI.3E2.0.CO.3B2}}</ref> Radiations may affect one [[clade]] or many, and be rapid or gradual; where they are rapid, and driven by a single lineage's adaptation to their environment, they are termed [[adaptive radiation]]s.<ref name=Schluter2000>{{cite book
 
==Examples of evolutionary radiation==
Perhaps the most familiar example of an evolutionary radiation is that of [[Eutheria|placental mammal]]s immediately after the [[extinction]] of the [[dinosaur]]s at the end of the [[Cretaceous]], about 65 million years ago. At that time, the placental mammals were mostly small, insect-eating animals similar in size and shape to modern [[shrew]]s. By the [[Eocene]] (58–37 million years ago), they had evolvedthe.282005.29031.3C0035:TMDOCI.3E2.0.CO.3B2}}</ref> into suchRadiations diversemay formsaffect asone [[batclade]]s, [[whale]]sor many, and [[horse]]s.<ref>Thisbe topicrapid isor coveredgradual; inwhere athey veryare accessiblerapid, mannerand indriven Chapterby 11 ofa Richardsingle Forteylineage's ''Life:adaptation Anto Unauthorisedtheir Biography''environment, (1997)they are termed [[adaptive radiation]]s.</ref name=Schluter2000>{{cite book
| author = Schluter, D.
| year = 2000
| publisher = Oxford University Press
| isbn =
}}</ref> y had evolved into such diverse forms as [[bat]]s, [[whale]]s, and [[horse]]s.<ref>This topic is covered in a very accessible manner in Chapter 11 of Richard Fortey's ''Life: An Unauthorised Biography'' (1997)</ref>
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==Examples of evolutionary radiation==
Perhaps the most familiar example of an evolutionary radiation is that of [[Eutheria|placental mammal]]s immediately after the [[extinction]] of the [[dinosaur]]s at the end of the [[Cretaceous]], about 65 million years ago. At that time, the placental mammals were mostly small, insect-eating animals similar in size and shape to modern [[shrew]]s. By the [[Eocene]] (58–37 million years ago), they had evolved into such diverse forms as [[bat]]s, [[whale]]s, and [[horse]]s.<ref>This topic is covered in a very accessible manner in Chapter 11 of Richard Fortey's ''Life: An Unauthorised Biography'' (1997)</ref>
 
Other familiar radiations include the [[Cambrian explosion]], the radiation of land plants after their [[Evolutionary history of plants#land|colonisation of land]], the Cretaceous [[Evolutionary history of plants#Evolution_of_flowers|radiation of angiosperms]], and the diversification of insects, a radiation that has continued almost unabated since the [[Devonian]], {{Ma|400}}.<ref>The radiation only suffered one hiccup, when the [[Permo-Triassic extinction event]] wiped out many species.</ref>
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