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Adaptive Radiation & Evolutionary Development of Reptiles

What is an adaptive radiation? Whey did reptiles undergo an adaptive rediation about 250 million years ago? What anatomical and physiological characterics, which amphibians don't possess, enabled reptiles to more fully take advantage of terrestial existence?

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Adaptive radiation is the evolutionary change that occurs when one species occupies different niches which results in new species forming that are best adapted to each respective niche. A classic study of adaptive radiation was done by Charles Darwin in the finches of the Galapogos Islands. Although they had all come from a common ancestor, each new species had developed beaks that were better suited for the typical type of food that each niche offered.

In the natural history of the development of vertebrates, the potential niche of dry land was essentially vacant before the evolutionary development of reptiles. To be ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the evolutionary steps that needed to be followed for reptiles to evolve from amphibians. The solution shows the requirements that had to be met according to the hardy-Weinberg principles, with an explanation of the evolutionary pattern of adaptive radiation.