Sympatric speciation in Nicaraguan cichlids

sympatric speciation

Midas cichlid (Amphilophus citrinellus). Photo by George Chernilevsky CC BY-SA 4.0

Sympatric speciation happens when different species evolve from a common ancestor without any geographic barriers to separate them. Each new species still inhabits the same areas and can come in contact with each other. Because there are no geographic barriers keeping groups apart, this type of evolutionary process can be difficult due to inbreeding.

Researchers working in crater lakes in Nicaragua have published research article providing empirical evidence of sympatric speciation. Two closely related species of Central American cichlids, Amphilophus citrinellus and A. labiatus are given as examples of sympatric speciation. To read more about this research visit the article on the Public Library of Science website. A summary of the publication can be found on the ScienceDaily.com.

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