My Speciation Is Full of Eels

An old Monty Python sketch about a mistranslated Hungarian-to-English phrasebook made infamous the line, “My hovercraft is full of eels.” Today, evolutionary biologists are puzzled about something equally bizarre: why are eels so full of speciation? One biologist recently said on ScienceDaily, “How can you have seven species of the same fish eating the same thing and, quite literally, living under the same rock?” Under evolutionary biology, one would expect to find some mechanism–perhaps a geographic barrier like a large expanse of open ocean–responsible for the reproductive isolation that generated the new “species.” Instead, they found this: To find out the biologists looked at selected mitochondrial and nuclear genes and asked whether there were unique alleles (variants) of these genes Read More ›