Monday, March 21, 2005

373: Primate research: Die hard

Primate research: Die hard

An island population of monkeys has almost no genetic variation. Will the decimation of a hurricane cause extinction, or will inbreeding not be so detrimental there? The answers to those questions will rely on the monkey's evolution.

If the monkeys have undergone strong selection from this cause before, any harmful mutations will have been eliminated by natural selection. They might do OK.

If not, it's harder to say. Testable hypotheses from evolutionary biology.