March 1, 2009

A CERTAIN SAMENESS:

Poles apart: Cold water cousins pose Darwinian conundrum: Scientists discover 235 species are common to the Arctic and Antarctic (Geoffrey Lean, 1 March 2009, Independent)

It is a puzzle to tax the great man himself. For, as if to mark the bicentenary of Charles Darwin's birth, scientists have come up with a remarkable discovery that poses fundamental questions about how evolution works.

The biggest study of life in the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans ever carried out, involving more than 500 polar researchers from 25 countries, has discovered at least 235 species that are common to both poles – even though they are almost 7,000 miles apart.

"This raises a whole bunch of evolutionary questions," said Professor Russ Hopcroft, of the University of Alaska, one of the leading scientists conducting the study, which is part of a 10-year worldwide census of marine life.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 1, 2009 8:01 AM
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