Sturgeon is the Fastest-Evolving Fish on Planet
A new study has dispelled the popular belief that pre-historic-looking fish had not gone through any changes for millions of years. Instead, the study revealed that sturgeon is the fastest-evolving fish on the planet.
Daniel Rabosky, an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Michigan and lead author of the study, said that sturgeon fish was thought to have undergone slow rates of anatomical changes over time.
He said that the findings of their study revealed that sturgeon is evolving very quickly in some ways. "They have evolved a huge range of body sizes. There are dwarf sturgeons the size of a bass and several other species that are nearly as big as a Volkswagen", he added.
Scientists created one of the largest evolutionary trees for any group of animals. The data was so large that in order to analyze it, the team of scientists had to develop a new computer program.
Rabosky said in a statement that they tried to validate the data been out there since Darwin. This data was never tested before at this big scale because of lack of data and limits of existing technologies.
He added that there are only 29 known species of sturgeon worldwide. They have a varied range of body sizes.