How quickly can new species evolve? Research on starfish in Australia shows that this process can take place within 6,000 years.
>>> Starfishspecies move like humans
'It's incredibly fast compared to most organisms,' says AFP quoted Rick Grosberg, professor of evolution and biology at the University of California at Davis.
On land, plants and animals can be separated by mountains or rivers, and then developed in their own direction until they can no longer breed.
Professor Grosberg and colleagues wanted to know how the new species in the ocean evolved. To do this, they studied two closely related starfish species, including Cryptasperina pentagona and C. hystera, living in the Coral Sea in Australia.
Despite their similar identities, they live in different areas and different reproductive mechanisms completely.'It's an impressive difference in the life history of any group of organisms,' said Professor Grosberg.
The researchers compared gene fragments of both types and estimated the time since they split. And this process is terribly fast, only about 6,000 years.