Trivia

Hard

Foster’s Rule Is A Rule In Evolutionary Biology That Explains?

Mass Extinctions
Binocular Vision
Giant Island Creatures
Parallel Organism Development
A Haast's eagle attacking a pair of New Zealand moa.
John Megahan/Wikimedia

Answer: Giant Island Creatures

If you look closely at isolated islands and the current inhabitants (and fossil record) therein, a curious trend emerges. Creatures that migrate to the islands and live in isolation tend to end up either growing very large or very small, but few remain the original size of their mainland counterparts.

This phenomenon is called Foster’s rule after the 20th century biologist who first proposed it after extensive observation of size trends in island-dwelling animals. Foster noted that two things seemed to occur when a creature migrated to an island. Either the creature experienced insular giantism (it began growing larger on the island) or insular dwarfism (it began growing smaller on the island).

Typically, but not always, the trend aligns with whether the animal was a predator or prey. Foster’s explanation for this was simple and has held up over time: small prey animals could grow larger in the absence of abundant mainland predators and with plenty to eat on the island, whereas predators that experienced increased competition on the island became smaller, requiring fewer resources.

The painting here depicts two examples of (now extinct) giant adaptations, the Haast’s eagle and the flightless moa, both ancient species found in New Zealand.

Trivia

Hard

The First Autonomous Ship Sent To The International Space Station Was Named After?

Trivia

Very Hard

The Sentence “Where You At?” Is An Example Of A?

Trivia

Hard

Which Moon Orbits Closest To Its Host Planet?

Trivia

Easy

Windows 95 Had A Special File Syncing Folder Known As?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of The Beatles’ Songs Was Written Just To Confuse Fans?

Trivia

Easy

What Quick Spreading Computer Virus Relied On Recipients’ Curiosity To Propagate?

Trivia

Hard

The Bird Of Prey With The Largest Natural Geographic Range Is The?

Trivia

Hard

Bathing Machines Were An Integral Part Of What Victorian-Era Activity?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Countries Has A Traditional Calendar With Dozens Of Microseasons?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Icons Of Horror Also Had A Cooking Show?