The Evolution Of Flightless Birds

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Evolution occurs when an animal species develops new bodily structures and functions in order to adapt to their new environment. These developments are seen as positive adaptations that enhances survival. However, some animal species have lost these new developments. Based on the geographic location and climate, some evolutionary developments that are no longer needed are lost due to the fact that the new bodily structure itself does not enhance the chance of survival in a particular environment (Kirchman 2009; Vieites, et al. 2009). In most cases these lost developments are passed down through future generations and are never redeveloped. However, more information is needed to decide whether or not the loss of these evolutionary developments was due to natural selection or by random mutation over years (Wilkens and Strecker 2003). In this paper, I will examine three studies from a diversity of taxa, which illustrate the history of flightless birds, how climate has influenced the evolution of salamanders and how life lived in darkness has influenced the blindness in cave fish. Together these studies depict how these evolutionary abilities are lost and their affects on the animal species.
Krichman (2009) examined the ancestry of flightless birds (Gallirallus philippenesis) through the usage of genetic testing that were sampled throughout a range of ancestral species. This was to test a model of speciation where flightless birds were thought to have evolved from flying birds
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