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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cave Mollies Evolved by Religion to Resist Toxins

In Mexico there are some Atlantic mollies in a cave that researchers have found that have evolved to be resistant to the toxin barbasco.

The locals that practiced a religion indigenous to them would throw the barbasco leaves into the stream as part of a religious ceremony. The mollies that lived in that stream became conditioned to having the toxins in the water. Eventually mollies evolved to be resistant to the toxins. Mollies that didn't evolve to be resistant to the barbasco leaves died off.

The ones that survived passed on the evolutionary traits onto their offspring and created a stronger species.

Here is a link to the original article that I found: Science Blog "Moved by Religion: Mexican Cavefish Develop Resistance To Toxins"

I am always interested to find articles like this that show how fish are evolving and changing to their environment. Fish also evolve quite often in aquariums or they die off as a result of unsuitable conditions. A fish will adapt to water changes outside of their parameters and survive. Sometimes when you try adding a new fish to your aquarium, thinking it is safe since the others are ok, they will die off right away. Only later after testing the water with a test kit will you find that the water is not in normal parameters.

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