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Science:非洲最致命湍流孕育新鱼种

摘要 : 世界上最大、最致命的湍流也是生命孕育的摇篮。根据一项最新研究,当其在距今约500万年前形成后,非洲刚果河的下游可能孕育了若干种新鱼类物种,这里仅有320公里的河段中承载着相当于美国密西西比河流量5倍的水源。

 

世界上最大、最致命的湍流也是生命孕育的摇篮。根据一项最新研究,当其在距今约500万年前形成后,非洲刚果河的下游可能孕育了若干种新鱼类物种,这里仅有320公里的河段中承载着相当于美国密西西比河流量5倍的水源。

这令人印象深刻。尽管长期以来,科学家知道山川、河流等地理特征会隔绝动物种群,最终形成新物种,但湍流一般不会被认为是这样的环境。

为了了解刚果印加急流和附近水域中的鱼类有多么不同,进化生物学家捕捉了约50条岩栖鱼类丽鱼科鱼,他们然后对其形态差异进行了分析,并对其2%的DNA进行了测序。

发现结果让他们感到吃惊:因为这些水域对人是极为致命的,直到6年前才有人成功迅速通过激流,它们对设法在其中游动的鱼类也同样致命。这样的湍流会把鱼群打散,使它们独立进化,最终形成新物种。

在这项新研究中,所有已知的和潜在的新物种都是被湍流或其他水文特征隔离开的,科学家近日在《分子生态学》上报告称。目前,研究人员已经用DNA差异确定了4个新物种的存在,其中包括他们以美国前总统巴拉克·奥巴马的名字命名的一个物种。但那里似乎至少还有两种其他物种在湍流漩涡中游泳。

原文链接:

Africa’s deadliest rapids give birth to new fish species

原文摘要:

The world’s largest and deadliest rapids are also crucibles of life. According to a new study, the final stretch of Africa’s Congo River—which packs five times the water flow of the Mississippi River into just 320 kilometers—has likely given birth to several new fish species since it formed some 5 million years ago. That’s impressive, because even though scientists have long known that geographical features like mountains and rivers can isolate animal populations—eventually giving rise to new species—rushing water is typically not thought to be the culprit. To find out just how different the fish of Congo’s Inga Rapids and nearby waters were, evolutionary biologists captured about 50 rock-dwelling fish known as cichlids from the genus Teleogramma. They then examined them for morphological differences and sequenced about 2% of their DNA. What they found surprised them: Just as these waters have been so deadly to people—no one had successfully run the rapids until 6 years ago—they can also be deadly to fish that try to navigate through them. Because the tumultuous currents cut groups of fish off from one another, they evolve independently and, eventually, become new species. In the new study, all known and potentially new species were separated by rapids or other hydrological features, the scientists report this month in Molecular Ecology. Two of the species live just across the river from each other, a mere 1.5 kilometers. Altogether, researchers have used DNA differences to confirm the existence of four species, including a new one they named after former U.S. President Barack Obama. But there seem to be at least two other species there as well, swimming in the eddies.

来源: Science 浏览次数:0

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