Researchers from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, find how geckos from India could have spread into and adapted to the Sri Lankan environment.
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The Western Ghats in India and Sri Lanka are well known biodiversity hotspots, with a rich diversity of amphibian species. Both these regions have high density of amphibian endemism, which means that many of the species of amphibians found here are found nowhere else on Earth. Over 85% of amphibian species found in Sri Lanka are endemic, making this island nation have the highest amphibian endemism in Asia.
Why do we see certain species of animals in one place while they are absent in the neighbouring regions? How do species inhabit remote islands? Questions like these are central to our understanding of evolution and speciation. Exploring these question in a Sri Lankan context, scientists from National Centre for Biological sciences and University of Colombo studied how a two species of small passerine birds colonized the island nation. Through phenotypic and genotypic analysis they could show that not all Sri Lankan wildlife is a subset of Indian wildlife.