Contact: Leanne Yohemas
University of Calgary
Caption: Transformations can happen much faster in animals that live in the water. An increase from rabbit-sized to elephant-sized would take at least five million generations, but the equivalent change in whales takes half as many generations. Becoming smaller is also easier: dwarfing in elephants occurred 10 times faster than the equivalent increase to evolve large elephants.
Credit: Image courtesy of Alistair Evans, David Jones and co-authors of the PNAS paper: The maximum rate of mammal evolution.
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