Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Surprising news from the lower Congo

There are so many aspects of this little video report from the lower Congo River, I'm somewhat stunned. First, that the river is so extraordinarily deep - commonly 300 feet, but dropping suddenly in places to over 500 feet deep. Submerged canyons, even.

And the wild hydrodynamics make it look extremely dangerous, too. Just watch in awe as those guys kayaking through the rapids!

But the conclusions the scientists reach is just as amazing; the hydrodynamics breaks the river up into discrete areas in which populations of fish are isolated from each other, and as a result, speciation events are happening all the time here. New species are evolving because they're isolated in relatively small groups.

Brilliant!

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