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Tortoise study does not support textbook “island rule” for evolution

From ScienceDaily: The fact that all living giant tortoises are insular may suggest that their evolution followed the so-called island rule: a trend toward dwarfism of large animals and gigantism of small animals on islands… In a recent study in the journal “Cladistics,” Dr Evangelos Vlachos from the Paleontological Museum of Trelew, Argentina, and Dr Márton Rabi from the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), funded by the German VolkswagenStiftung, assembled the most comprehensive family tree of extinct and extant tortoises so far. The researchers analysed genetic data from living species together with osteological data from fossil and living tortoises. This is the first study of such global scale to allow for investigating body size evolution in tortoises. The fossils reveal Read More ›