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Tiny genetic differences spin out new species in literal butterfly effect

| | November 1, 2013

A new study from the University of Chicago finds it’s genetically easier to spin off into a new species than it may have once been thought, even if the two species remain close and interbreed with one another. After studying butterflies, the researchers found evolution can happen as the result of a process rather than a single event. In fact, in the case of butterflies, the beginning of a new species could begin with something as simple as a small fraction of a genome resulting in slightly different wing patterns.

“It is possible that this type of speciation, in which natural selection pushes populations apart, has been important in the evolution of other organisms. It remains to be seen whether it is a common process though,”said Dr. Marcus Kronforst, who led the research

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Read the full, original story here: Butterflies Offer Insights Into The Evolution Of New Species

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