What Type of Speciation From an Abert Squirrel?
A kaibab squirrel is a tassel-eared species that mainly lives around Jacob Lake in Arizona. This article will cover Adaptive radiation and Allopatric speciation. In the meantime, check out our articles on Adaptive radiation and Porto Santo rabbits. We hope you enjoyed them! And if you enjoyed these articles, please share them with your friends!
Speciation by geographical isolation is the most common mechanism behind kaibab squirrels’ resurgence, as their habitat has been dramatically altered over time. Geographic barriers prevent the interbreeding of individuals and may lead to the formation of distinct species. The term allopatric comes from the Greek words allos and patris. It occurs when two populations of a species are separated by a geographic barrier, such as a river, mountain range, or landmass.
The Grand Canyon separates the two populations of kaibab and abert squirrels. These two species were once one species, but were separated because of the canyon, which blocks interbreeding. The two species now breed in different seasons. Speciation is an important process that helps species survive in difficult conditions. For the kaibab squirrel, this process has resulted in its rapid decline and a resurgence of the species.
The Kaibab squirrel and the Abert’s are very similar in size and shape. Their bodies are roughly the same length, ranging from seven to 10 inches, and their tails are likewise seven to 10 inches in length. Each weighs about twenty-five ounces, on average. Their skulls are short and broad, with tufts extending between one and two inches above the ears in winter. The tails, however, are not visible in summer.
Both species live in Arizona, with the former inhabiting the north rim while the latter inhabits the south rim. These squirrels are known as allopatric, which means that they live in different parts of a geographic area. The Grand Canyon in Arizona acts as a barrier between the two species. As a result, these two populations developed separate, yet distinct, ways of surviving in these habitats.
Adaptive radiation is a process whereby populations of a species split into two distinct subspecies, each of which has a unique genetic makeup. In the case of the kaibab squirrel, this process occurred on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. While the other subspecies of squirrels are found on the south rim, the Kaibab squirrel is native to the North Rim. Adaptive radiation requires a founding population.
The Grand Canyon in Arizona has two populations of the same species, the north and south rim. The south rim has a forest of ponderosa pines, while the northern rim has a variety of junipers, aspen groves, and Englemann spruces. Because of the climate and plant life of the Grand Canyon, neither the Kaibab nor the Abert squirrels can interbreed with each other.
Porto Santo rabbits
While both the Kaibab and Abert squirrels are native to North America, they have different appearances. The former has black bellies and white tails, and is the most common of the two. The latter is only found in a single area in the United States. The two species also exhibit different colors and forms. In fact, the Kaibab squirrel is slightly smaller than the Abert.
Speciation is the process by which a new species develops from its ancestral one in the same geographical region. In the case of the Kaibab squirrel, the Grand Canyon is its main barrier, which isolated them from each other. Because of this, they cannot interbreed because they are two different species. The two are, however, sympatric, meaning that they share common characteristics.
Adaptive radiation vs other forms of speciation
In nature, organisms evolve from a common ancestor through sympatric speciation. When adaptation causes new survival challenges, organisms change their behavior. Adaptive radiation is a biological process that causes organisms to adapt to their new environments. For example, plants undergo sympatric speciation and the white-tailed antelope squirrel inhabits the north side of Arizona’s Grand Canyon.
The Abert’s squirrel complex has undergone numerous revisions and taxonomic debates. Because it is geographically isolated from its nearest neighbors, it has been considered a textbook example of allopatric speciation. Although there are no significant morphological differences, S. kaibabensis was reduced to subspecies status in the last revision. Previous taxonomic schemes have listed nine subspecies, but the most recent revision has recognized six.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.