Cichlid fossils point to hybridization/diversification

cichlid fossils

Tugenchromis pickfordi fossils. Photo from publication.

The discovery of new cichlid fossils is supporting the idea that early hybridization contributed to the diversity of cichlid species found today. Genetic testing done of Lake Victoria cichlids pointed to similar conclusions (See Feb. 12th blog).

A newly published study in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology speculates that the well-preserved fossilized remains of a new species, Tugenchromis pickfordi, has characteristics that resulted from hybridization. It is believed that hybridization is part of the puzzle of what led to species radiation and the diversity of cichlids in the East African lakes. To read more about the recently discovered cichlid fossils and the study itself visit the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. Discussion can be done in the General African Cichlid Discussion forum.

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