Malaysia: evolution in snails and other animals

Opisthostoma snail from Malaysia

From The Star in Malaysia:

Evolution in action at valley

KOTA KINABALU: The Kinabatangan valley is not just a haven for wildlife but is also a valuable natural laboratory of evolution, a team of Universiti Malaysia Sabah scientists found.

“If Charles Darwin had not gone to the Galápagos Islands, his theory on the origin of the species could have been born in the Kinabatangan valley itself,” said Dr Menno Schilthuizen, an associate professor at UMS Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation.

The Lower Kinabatangan region has long been known as one of the few remaining places in Sabah teeming with wildlife such as pygmy elephants, proboscis monkeys and orang utans.

The UMS researchers have now dubbed the valley as a “veritable evolution workshop” after observing various species of land snails and the adaptations made by these creatures, as well as their predators.

Dr Schilthuizen had led the team to the Opisthostoma snails at the valley’s limestone outcrops.

The Opisthostoma snails are known for their twisted shells adorned with ribs and spines.

In the September issue of the journal Evolution, the UMS scientists reported that each hill had an Opisthostoma population with a different-looking shell.

Opisthostoma vermiculum snail in Malaysia: here.

Evolution of big and small animal species on islands: here.

Evolution, the ‘island rule‘, and the deep sea: here.

New Zealand giant snails: here.

4 thoughts on “Malaysia: evolution in snails and other animals

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