Re: NANFA-- Great Lake Aquarium in Duluth Minnesota

Bruce Stallsmith (
Sun, 13 May 2001 17:27:29 -0400

With all I said before, I just wanna add that the other Great Lakes in
Africa also tend towards high endemicism, with their own species flocks. So
this pattern appears to have repeated itself several times with the same
basic type of cichlid. As to hybridization, it probably does happen; what
separates these species is reproductive isolation through sexual selection,
i.e. females respond best to males with very specific coloration and mating
behaviors (kind of like many darters, really!).

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL

>Thanks for the information on Lake Victoria. I had no idea the lake was so
>different from the other large lakes in Africa. I knew that the cichlids
>had radiated out in those lakes into all different kinds of species, but I
>didn't know about the species flock that you mentioned in Lake Victoria,
>especially that it came from one ancestral species. It take it that the
>genetic plasticity (if there is such a term) must be very high in cichlids.
>From what little I know about genetics I understand that some species are
>capable of more genetic variation than others, and can thus evolve into
>other forms more quickly when the conditions are favorable.
>Do you know much hybridization takes place within the species flock in Lake
>Victoria and whether or not those hybrids are themselves fertile? I blows
>me away that so many species can appear in so short a time. I mean we're
>almost talking within historical times that all of this species radiation

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