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Research Confirms Controversial Darwin Theory of Jump Dispersal

small green lizard on log

Photo credit: Christopher R. Peterson

More than 150 years ago, Charles Darwin hypothesized that species could cross oceans and other vast distances on vegetation rafts, icebergs, or, in the case of plant seeds, the plumage of birds.

Though many were skeptical of Darwin’s “jump dispersal” idea, a new study conducted at UT suggests that Darwin might have been correct.

A new computational method published in the journal Systematic Biology tested two competing theories about how species came to live where they do and found strong evidence for jump dispersal, especially for island species.

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