Unusual Island Evolution Happens Faster Than Thought

In evolutionary circles, giant rats and miniature elephants have long been accepted as the products of accelerated evolution in isolated environments such as islands, but McGill paleontologist Virginie Millien has been the first to establish just how quickly these odd-shaped animals got that way. In fact, island mammals evolve about three times faster than their mainland counterparts, says Dr. Millien, who based her findings on an analysis of the documented evolutionary rates of 88 island mammal species, about half of which were rodents — via Warren Ellis

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