In discovery, the team of researchers to discover the lower limit of land that a new mammal needs to evolve has turned to islands. These types of islands are the perfect locations for making the ideal laboratory, and they watch the animals that arrived there and evolved there. Presently, the scientists have reduced the area by one-tenth of the size, and it could be smaller further.
According to the Lawrence Heaney, who is an evolutionary biogeographer at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois, and worked for many years as the cataloguing mammal diversity on the Phillippines’s largest island, Luzon. He has discovered about 105,000 square kilometres and has discovered about 66 mammal’s species. This shows that the smaller islands can also help in discovering the new species to diversify. To get this thing, he along with his colleagues has settled on Mindoro, which is the seventh-largest island in the Philippines.
In the year 2013, they have started an inventory in which all mammals like rats, mice, and dwarf are included. They have placed live traps on the slopes of the mountains of the Mindoro’s mountain ranges. These traps have helped them to catch the smaller ones which include a long-snouted, earthworm-eating mouse who are native to that island. When the scientists have compared the DNA and looks, they have realized that the mice are the representation of the four separate species which are three living species on their mountains and other one is living at the lowlands.
Lawrence Heaney said that “The single most remarkable thing about planet Earth is there are so many species here, so much biodiversity. We take it for granted, but holy cow, there’s a whole lot of stuff out there-how did it get here? This is one of the few papers ever written to look at whether there’s a limit to how small an island can be for species diversification to occur, and it’s the only one looking at it in mammals. Mindoro is by far the smallest island on which we’ve seen this happen.”
When they are searching for new species, they have discovered the worm-eating mice. Heaney said, “The mice we looked at in this study are all members of the “earthworm mouse” group Apomys–they love earthworms, but they also eat seeds and fruits. They’ve got big dark eyes, great big ears, long soft fur, white feet, dark tails–they’re very pretty little mice.”