DragonflyIssuesInEvolution13 Wiki

Image copied from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Laurasia-Gondwana.png


Image copied from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Eckert4.jpg

Vicariance and vicariant event are used interchangeably between the scientific community to describe the same process (Purves, Sadava, Orians, & Heller, 2004). Vicariance describes events that geographically separate a population and prevent gene flow between the newly isolated groups (Freeman & Herron, 2007). These events can range in nature from the uplift of a mountain range to a lava flow.

     Vicariance leads to allopatric speciation , or the creation of new species due to the geographic sepa


Vicariant event creating Madagascar

ration caused by the vicariant event.  Lemurs of Madagascar being a great example of this resulting in over 100 species/subspecies of lemurs evolving from common ancestors since Madagascar separated from Africa about 88 million years ago. 


One great example of a vicariant event that isolates populations iscontinental drift (Purves, Sadava, Orians, & Heller, 2004). Around 150 million years ago, as the super continent of Gondwana started to separate from Laurasia, the individual continents we know today started to drift apart. This continental drift was sited as one key factor that lead to the speciation of modern parrots (Schweizer, Seehausen, Hertwig, & 2011; Wright et al., 2008), and probably played a distinct role in the divergence of many other species.  


Freeman, S. Herron, J. (2007). Evolutionary Analysis (4th  ed.). San Francisco, CA: Pearson Benjamin Cummings.

Schweizer, M., Seehausen, O., Hertwig, S. (2011). Macroevolutionary patterns in the diversification of parrots: effects of climate change, geological events and key innovations. Journal of Biogeography, 38, 2176-2194. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2011.02555.x 

Wright, T., Schirtzinger, E., Matsumoto, T., Eberhard, J., Graves, G., Sanchez, J., Capelli, S., Muller, H., Scharpegge, J., Chambers, G., Fleischer, R. (2008). A Multilocus Molecular Phylogeny of the Parrots (Psittaciformes): Support for a Gondwanan Origin during the Cretaceous. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 25(10), 2141-2156. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msn160

IUCN. (2013). Lemurs of madagascar: a strategy for their conservation 2013-2016. Arlington: IUCN/Conservational International.