[Taxacom] Recent transPacific rafting due to tsunami

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Mon Dec 21 12:45:22 CST 2020


John -- I assume your arguments apply only to larger terrestrial organisms, correct?  Those of us who work on marine organisms with planktonic larvae have seen plenty of evidence of "rare" dispersal events in the form of singletons that appear outside their range, often as juveniles.  Even in my own tiny lifetime, I've personally witnessed two cases where a species previously absent from a locality (based on extensive historical surveys) became established in large numbers. Unless they were brought by humans (which they weren't), then the only rational explanation is that they arrived by chance dispersal events.

Hawaii is home to some of the world's highest rates of endemism among coral-reef fishes. Most of these species have their closest relatives elsewhere in the Pacific. I guess you could argue that all these species were at one time widely distributed with regular/frequent gene flow, and then only later became isolated from each other and diverged.  But that scenario differs from "chance dispersal" only in degree, not in kind.

Among those of us who study coral-reef organisms, arguments that "there is no evidence for chance dispersal being the mechanism for the origin of allopatry" sound a bit like arguments that "there is no evidence for evolution by natural selection", or "there is no evidence for plate tectonics".  None of us can be certain about events that purportedly happened in the past (gene frequencies shifting over time as a result of selection pressure, continents moving, rare events allowing organisms to expand their range then become cut off from source populations, etc.)  But at a certain point, it just seems silly to assume that such things did not happen.

Aloha,
Rich

Richard L. Pyle, PhD
Senior Curator of Ichthyology | Director of XCoRE
Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum
1525 Bernice Street, Honolulu, HI 96817-2704
Office: (808) 848-4115;  Fax: (808) 847-8252
eMail: deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
BishopMuseum.org
Our Mission: Bishop Museum inspires our community and visitors through the exploration and celebration of the extraordinary history, culture, and environment of Hawaiʻi and the Pacific.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Taxacom <taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> On Behalf Of John
> Grehan via Taxacom
> Sent: Monday, December 21, 2020 6:30 AM
> To: Kenneth Kinman <kinman at hotmail.com>
> Cc: Taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Recent transPacific rafting due to tsunami
> 
> So some organisms have a wide geographic range. So what? Where is the
> evidence of unique chance dispersal being the mechanisms for the origin of
> allopatry? I notice Kan and all other proponents avoid this question.
> 
> On Mon, Dec 21, 2020 at 11:16 AM Kenneth Kinman via Taxacom <
> taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> wrote:
> 
> > Dear All,
> >         The 2011 Japanese tsunami carried hundreds of species across the
> > Pacific (although these were invertebrates).   Over millions of years,
> > bigger tsunamis and/or massive landslides would have happened
> > thousands of times.  The biggest ones producing rafts of huge masses
> > of trees and other vegetation capable of carrying some vertebrates to
> > other continents (or less massive events carrying them to islands in
> between).
> >       https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170928142101.htm
> >
> >      Tsunami enabled hundreds of aquatic species to raft across
> > Pacific Biologists detect longest transoceanic rafting voyage for
> > coastal species
> >
> > Date:
> > September 28, 2017
> > Source:
> > Smithsonian
> > Summary:
> > The 2011 Japanese tsunami set the stage for something unprecedented.
> > For the first time in recorded history, scientists have detected
> > entire communities of coastal species crossing the ocean by floating
> > on makeshift rafts. Nearly 300 species have appeared on the shores of
> > Hawaii and the US West Coast attached to tsunami debris, marine biologists
> discovered.
> > ________________________________
> > From: Taxacom <taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> on behalf of
> > Kenneth Kinman via Taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
> > Sent: Monday, December 21, 2020 6:51 AM
> > To: Taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
> > Subject: [Taxacom] Another transatlantic rafting primate named this
> > year
> >
> > Hi All,
> >        Yet another primate was named this year (April 2020) which also
> > indicates transatlantic rafting, helped along with a drop in sea levels.
> > Abstract below.  Source:
> > https://science.sciencemag.org/content/368/6487/194
> >
> > Abstract
> >
> > Phylogenetic evidence suggests that platyrrhine (or New World) monkeys
> > and caviomorph rodents of the Western Hemisphere derive from source
> > groups from the Eocene of Afro-Arabia, a landmass that was ~1500 to
> > 2000 kilometers east of South America during the late Paleogene. Here,
> > we report evidence for a third mammalian lineage of African origin in
> > the Paleogene of South America—a newly discovered genus and species of
> > parapithecid anthropoid primate from Santa Rosa in Amazonian Perú.
> > Bayesian clock–based phylogenetic analysis nests this genus
> > (Ucayalipithecus) deep within the otherwise Afro-Arabian clade
> > Parapithecoidea and indicates that transatlantic rafting of the
> > lineage leading to Ucayalipithecus likely took place between ~35 and
> > ~32 million years ago, a dispersal window that includes the major
> > worldwide drop in sea level that occurred near the Eocene-Oligocene
> boundary.
> >
> > ________________________________
> > From: John Grehan <calabar.john at gmail.com>
> > Sent: Sunday, December 20, 2020 9:13 PM
> > To: Kenneth Kinman <kinman at hotmail.com>
> > Cc: taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
> > Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Primate {twadle?}
> >
> > Ken, none of this comes across as 'serious research findings' - just a
> > whole series of fabrications.
> >
> > Fabrication 1. "South America and Africa have been separated since the
> > early Late Cretaceous, so vicariance of primates does not appear
> > reasonable as an explanation for their appearance in the Eocene on two
> > continents separated by the Atlantic." Twaddle. There is no evidence
> > that they 'appeared' in the Eocene. None at all. I dare you to specify
> > any such empirical evidence. Of course any alternative is
> > 'unreasonable' by definition.
> >
> > Fabrication 2. "with rafting across the Atlantic usually considered a
> > feasible way for how primates arrived in South America, presuming they
> > originated in Africa" - make me a raft. Any raft at all. Another fantasy.
> >
> > Fabrication 3. " similar means of arrival in South America has often
> > been proposed for the hystricognath rodents, the dispersal of
> > amphisbaenian and gekkotan lizards, and the Opisthocomiforme" Oh yes,
> > everyone says it is so, so it must be true. Really true. Saw a lot of this in our
> recent elections.
> >
> > Fabrication 4. "... the re-established, relatively contemporaneous
> > first appearance datum of primates and rodents in South America leads
> > to consideration of possible similarities of intercontinental
> > dispersal mechanisms for the two mammalian groups." Leads to nothing of
> the sort.
> > Total garbage. This is just literalist reading of the fossil record as
> > a sign of migration.
> >
> > Cheers,
> >
> > John Grehan
> >
> >
> > On Sun, Dec 20, 2020 at 10:05 PM Kenneth Kinman via Taxacom <
> > taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu<mailto:taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>>
> wrote:
> > Hi John,
> >         I guess you must be viewing this as "fake news", but what you
> > call "twaddle" is based on serious research findings on a number of
> > different vertebrate taxa.  For instance, based on new primate fossil
> > evidence, Bond et al., 2015 said:
> > "South America and Africa have been separated since the early Late
> > Cretaceous, so vicariance of primates does not appear reasonable as an
> > explanation for their appearance in the Eocene on two continents
> > separated by the Atlantic.  Numerous studies have focused on the
> > possibility of primates crossing the Atlantic to reach South America
> > from Africa (for example, refs 20, 21), with rafting across the
> > Atlantic usually considered a feasible way for how primates arrived in
> > South America, presuming they originated in Africa....  A similar
> > means of arrival in South America has often been proposed for the
> > hystricognath rodents, the dispersal of amphisbaenian and gekkotan
> > lizards, and the Opisthocomiformes, a Neotropical group of birds
> > (hoatzins) with weak flight capabilities and alleged African origin.
> > And, with the discovery of the Santa Rosa primates, the
> > re-established, relatively contemporaneous first appearance datum of
> > primates and rodents in South America leads to consideration of
> > possible similarities of intercontinental dispersal mechanisms for the two
> mammalian groups."
> > Source:
> >
> > https://www.nature.com/articles/nature14120.epdf?referrer_access_token
> > =Aq3mCS_U83h_wRkC7RGhw9RgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0OeRw-3QoIkb2K-
> RTBu-WlQVpxym
> >
> wHRfnmhxWlRfp03p3toa22UdqDv45qaqqTQI56ppLk8Rif3uZBwNOtM87pB7t
> WQHTiPkH8
> >
> Kqp7bQU_9txkTQeX8ZJsCEYjoymmn_jm4TsHsvXbuWtG92hWtkygbamnr1YG9
> cXipd6wE5
> >
> cJZvHLjAzpoJ3FvB385JmwnskCZs6fZZ97GVWucjy98kE1wY54QXNy1YDdxuSd7
> KJu39g%
> > 3D%3D&tracking_referrer=phenomena.nationalgeographic.com
> >
> >                   ------------------Ken
> >
> > ________________________________
> > From: Taxacom <taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu<mailto:
> > taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>> on behalf of John Grehan via
> > Taxacom
> > <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu<mailto:taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>>
> > Sent: Sunday, December 20, 2020 7:22 PM
> > To: taxacom
> > <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu<mailto:taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> > >>
> > Subject: [Taxacom] Primate twadle
> >
> > Link below brought to my attention. I call it a classic example of the
> > kind of twaddle that is handed out under the umbrella of Darwin's
> > center of origin and chance dispersal theory for the origin of
> > allopatry. Mind blowing that science can propose 'mysterious' events
> > as an 'explanation. At least Creationists appeal to the directing hand
> > of God. Further, this prominent (prestigious?) institution claims that
> > we "know" monkeys crossed the ocean, when in fact there is absolutely
> > no empirically based supporting evidence at all. It's complete
> > fiction. Totally made up (in politics making things up is called conspiracy).
> >
> > John Grehan
> >
> >
> https://www.facebook.com/naturalhistorymuseum/videos/824971771677613
> > _______________________________________________
> >
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