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Biology: The Unity and Diversity o...

15th Edition
Cecie Starr + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337408332

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Biology: The Unity and Diversity o...

15th Edition
Cecie Starr + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337408332
Textbook Problem
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Flightless birds on islands often have relatives on the mainland that can fly. The island species presumably evolved from fliers that, in the absences of predators, lost their ability to fly. Many island populations of flightless birds are in decline because rats have been introduced to their previously isolated island habitats. Despite current selection pressure in favor of flight, no flightless island bird species has regained the ability to fly. Why is this unlikely to happen?

Summary Introduction

To explain: The reason why the flightless birds do not have the ability to fly.

Concept introduction: The birds that do not have the ability to fly are collectively called as flightless birds. Natural selection is the process where the organisms that adapt best to the environmental stresses tend to survive and reproduce. Evolution process is based on the natural selection through ‘survival of the fittest’. Mutation is a process where a sudden change in the DNA content that inherits to the offspring is not involved in transferring the genetic diversity among organisms. It may take many generations for the mutation to take place.

Explanation
If the flightless birds have survived in the island for over many generations, then it is not surprising that these birds do not develop the flying ability.

The reasons why the flightless birds do not have the ability to fly are as follows:

  • There are no birds of that species to promote the ability of flying to the next generations.
  • The structure of the flightless birds is organized in such a way that they are not able to fly...

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