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Red Queen (was Re: Stegosaur plates as protection...)



At 08:15 AM 7/1/97 +1000, Dann Pigdon wrote:

>As for the evolutionary synopsis put forward, creatures do not
>evolve in turns, but at the same time. In Crichton's JP sequel he
>mentions many chaos theory buzzwords, one of them being the "Red
>Queen" effect, whereby creatures evolve at a frantic rate just to
>stay even with each other.

Although Crichton uses plenty of Chaos Theory buzz words, "Red Queen" is not
one of them.  It comes from the evolutionary theory proposed by
paleomammalogist Leigh Van Valen back in the 1970s.  A WHOLE lot of
paleontological studies (neontological, too) back in the 1970s and early
1980s were concerned with validating or rejecting the Red Queen model.

(The reference comes from the Red Queen in _Through the Looking Glass_, who
must always run to keep in the same place.)

Some refs:

Van Valen, L. 1973.  A new evolutionary law.  Evolutionary Theory 1: 1-30.
[The paper that started it all].

and review papers:

Hoffman, A. and Kitchell, J.A.  1984.  Evolution in a pelagic planktic
system: a paleobiologic test of models of multispecies extinction.
Paleobiology 10: 9-33.

McCune, A.R. 1982. On the fallacy of constant extinction rates.  Evolution
39: 610-614.

Vrba, E.S. 1993.  Turnover-pulses, the Red Queen, and related topics.
American Journal of Science 293-A: 418-452.

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