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Adaptation and Natural Selection in Caves: The Evolution of Gammarus minus

Out of Print

By: David C Culver, Thomas C Kane and Daniel W Fong

223 pages, B/w photos, illus, figs, tabs

Harvard University Press

Hardback | Apr 1995 | #41877 | ISBN: 0674004256
Out of Print Details

About this book

The harsh environment of caves is home to a variety of `bizarre' creatures, whom biologists generally treat as mere oddities with little to tell anyone about topics as grand as evolution. Focusing on one cave dwelling crustacean, Gammarus minus, this book shows that, on the contrary, cave life can provide a valuable empirical model for the study of evolution, particularly adaptation. Indeed, the work reveals the advantages of caves for studying natural selection: the highly simplified habitats found underground serve as a natural laboratory for the evolutionary biologists, and the distinctive morphological features of cave fauna provide a wealth of data on evolutionary history and natural selection.

The authors present a detailed analysis of convergent adaptation to a cave environment...The book is complete in scope and rich in detail, representing the results of many years of extensive research by the authors. Science Books & Films


Caves as evolutionary laboratories; "gammarus minus" as a model organism; the ecological theatre; the geography of "gammarus minus"; making a case for selection; putting the pieces together; questions of time; adaptation in "gammarus minus".

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David C. Culver is Professor of Biology at the American University. Thomas C. Kane is Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Cincinnati. Daniel W. Fong is Associate Professor of Biology at the American University.

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