Environmental factors have massive impact on Species

Environmental factors have massive impact on Species

Researchers do not consider dragon fish, Polypterus senegalus, as a normal fish. This species of fish native to Africa has two lungs and it can even survive outside water.

An experiment that continued for eight months has unveiled about the evolutionary process that made fish to move on to dry land. During the experiment, researchers found that the fish raised outside water has notably different features.

Their bones and muscles were different, said researchers. Around 400 million years ago, fish moved on to land and it change into quadruped vertebrates. Hans Larsson, of McGill University's Redpath Museum, is of the belief that the dragon fish is living example of a phenomenon called as developmental plasticity.

Developmental plasticity refers to a state in which changes can be brought in the creature's physiology through environmental factors. With time, these changes get adjusted into the animal's genome.

Larsson shared that aim of the study was to see the physical changes in Dragon fish raised outside of water. During the experiment, the fish were in kept in a tank having 1mm of water on the surface.

After hiatus of eight months, comparative analysis was done between the fish raised outside of water and fish raised in normal conditions. Researchers noted many changes in the fish raised outside of water.

Changes include additional skill to walk without losing the ability to swim; slipped less; keeping pectoral fins closer to center of their body and chest area increased. Researchers said the study is good example to demonstrate that many species have the ability to change if they stay in a different environment instead of their preferred one.

Researchers want to carry out more experiments on the species including measuring fish's force steps and other evolutionary aspects. The study has been published in the journal Nature.


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