From Griffiths University (Queensland, Australia):
Fit and healthy Tasmanian devils are being taken down by deadly facial tumours that are attacking the “best” animals in the population, according to novel research led by Griffith University.
The research, published in the scientific journal Ecology Letters, shows that devils that catch devil facial tumour disease (DFTD) have higher survival and reproductive rates prior to disease-induced death than individuals that do not become infected.
Typically infectious diseases affect mostly older, younger, or less healthy individuals. However, the team of scientists from Australia and the US, led by Dr Konstans Wells of Griffith’s Environmental Futures Research Institute (EFRI), found that devils with higher fitness are at highest risk of infection and death from facial tumours.
Dr Wells said this was probably because of the disease’s mode of transmission among socially dominant individuals. More.
If so, that’s another example of a key reason why Darwinism (natural selection acting on random mutation) could never have been the driver of positive changes toward complex life that is claimed. There is no necessary relationship between present fitness as such and long-term future.
The real story is certainly more complex and more interesting.
See also: What the fossils told us in their own words
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