Here’s an open access paper, just published in Nature online (May 16, 2012) , about whose abstract a friend writes to say, “You could request a full paragraph of explanation for each sentence.”
Well-known examples of South American butterflies mimicking each other’s wing patterns may be due – not to wing panel by wing panel natural selection – but to hybridization.
That would make more sense. Never mind the famous question “What good is five percent of an eye?” Well, some good.
A more important question for many life forms is, what good is looking only five percent less like lunch? Five percent of an eye may be useful; looking only five percent less like lunch is not likely to be. And it is typical of a Darwin-crazed culture that so many people accept the Darwinists’ sales job and so few notice the critical difference.
Butterfly genome reveals promiscuous exchange of mimicry adaptations among species
The evolutionary importance of hybridization and Introgression has long been debated. Hybrids are usually rare and unfit, But even infrequent hybridization can aid adaptation by transferring Beneficial traits between species. Here we use genomic tools to investigate introgression in heliconius, a rapidly radiating genus of neotropical butterflies widely used in studies of ecology, behaviour. we sequenced the genome of heliconius Melpomene and compared it with other taxa to investigate chromosomal evolution in lepidoptera and gene flow among multiple heliconius species and races. Among 12,669 predicted genes, biologically important expansions of families of chemosensory and hox genes are particularly noteworthy. Chromosomal organization has remained broadly conserved since the cretaceous period, when butterflies split from the _bombyx_(Silkmoth) lineage. Using genomic resequencing, we show hybrid exchange of genes between three co-mimics, heliconius melpomene, heliconius Timareta and heliconius elevatus, especially at two genomic regions that control mimicry pattern. We infer that closely related heliconius species exchange protective colour-pattern genes promiscuously, implying that hybridization has an important role in adaptive radiation.