Trivia

Hard

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

Giant Island Creatures
Binocular Vision
Parallel Organism Development
Mass Extinctions
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

Very Hard

The Same Processor Used In Macintosh II Personal Computers Is Still Going Strong In Which Fighter Jet?

Trivia

Hard

The “A113” Easter Egg That Appears In Every Pixar Movie Is A Reference To?

Trivia

Easy

Which Of These Iconic 1980s Movies Theme Song Triggered A Lawsuit?

Trivia

Hard

The Opposite Of A TV Show “Jumping The Shark” Is?

Trivia

Hard

NASA’s New Horizons Probe Shares A CPU With Which Of These Consoles?

Trivia

Hard

Consuming Chocolate Proves Fatal For Many Dogs Because Of Which Compound?

Trivia

Hard

The New Horizons Spacecraft Has Quarters From Which Two U.S. States Onboard?

Trivia

Hard

The First Satellite To Orbit The Sun Did So When It Missed What Target?

Trivia

Easy

Stomach Ulcers Are Caused By?

Trivia

Hard

The Biggest Hurdle Facing Early Soda Company Growth Was?