Re: NANFA-- Re: Pupfish

Bruce Stallsmith (
Wed, 06 Jun 2001 12:46:01 -0400

Hy, the diabolis actually _do_ start becoming different fish. Genetic
studies show that their gene frequencies start to change quickly under very
different selection regimes. They have both a very plastic phenotype (good
care helps) and also very plastic genome.

This is actually an argument in favor of protecting them from extinction;
they probably evolved this plasticity in order to adapt quickly to changing
environmental conditions, so if we let them go extinct we've extinguished
what could be the root of future adaptive radiation if the species spread
itself out. We're back to playing God (note to Rush!).

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL

>I do not believe that if given proper care, the C. diabolis that becomes a
>larger fish with better finnage stops being a C. diabolis. The harsh
>environment in which they naturally live, limits their full potential and
>the fish are merely surviving. Given a good environment the fish thrive
>look much more beautiful. Do this experiment yourself. Take some guppies
>and raise half of them in a poor environment and the other half in a good
>environment. The result is that the two groups of fish will "look"
>different, but both will still be guppies. It is a shame that the C.
>diabolis are not given a chance to beautifully thrive in public aquaria.
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