Thursday, 14 July 2016

Why do islands give rise to such unusual creatures?

Land of opportunity

Presented byProf Richard Fortey Biologist & writer

Islands make up a sixth of all land on Earth. Some are formed from lava expelled by volcanoes under the sea, such as the Hawaiian Islands. Others, like Madagascar, are created when landmasses break apart over hundreds of millions of years. 

Isolated from the mainland, a new island often provides a unique habitat. With its own set of conditions, life can evolve differently. Some creatures develop the most unusual traits to survive – and thrive – in their new home. In many cases, separated from their mainland ancestors, they eventually transform into new species altogether.

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