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Re: Mammoths on Catalina Island



>I saw the Paleo World show on TLC and I am pretty sure that the scientist
>implied that the population became isolated with the retreat of the glaciers
>and rising sea levels.  I am sure the mammoths could have swam to the island,
>and some probably did.  Some probably feed the great whites in the area also.
>MMMM-Good    :-)  Out of curiosity, would what happened to this population be
>an example of Puncuated Equilibrium?

It would more precisely be an example of allopatric speciation: isolation
from the main population allowing divergence sufficient for making the
isolate a new species.

Allopatric speciation is an important component of punc eq, but is accepted
by followers of the "modern synthesis" (aka "phyletic gradualism") school of
evolution as well.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:th81@umail.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661