My final recovery plan, almost forgot about this if I’m being honest.
Well, I guess the only option is to capture the Scirius kitta and breed them in captivity to restore population numbers.
Well, I’m off to save a population and then head home to my family! [and proper running water…]..;only a week now, to put this plan into action! The islanders can continue it from there,
Goodbye for now bloggers, until the next project and adventure,
I have discovered more! Due to different courtship rituals between the 2 organisms, they will not breed due to temporal isolation which occurs when the breeding patterns in 2 organisms are different, as they are in the case of the Scirius kitta [which has a 12.6 second courtship ritual] and the Scirius nevia-minor [Which has a 21.3 second courtship ritual].
Aha! My new key discovery! Allopatric Speciation!
After weeks of debate, I think I have finally figured out what might have happened on the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis. Allopatric speciation has occured. This I am sure of becuase me and my team have discovered identical fossils on both islands, this means that there definitely was a common ancestor at some point, I have recently noticed how close the islands are.
- Allopatric speciation occurs when a species get separated by a physical barrier and then evolutionize differently. The islands must have been connected at some point and plate tectonics must have caused a shift causing the islands to move away from each other.
- This must have led to directional selection by natural selection. The island of St. Kitts must have favored bigger and stronger organisms. Therefore this caused the original species to evolve into Scirius kitta, a stronger, larger more fit for the island of St. Kitts, rodent. This caused the curve on St. Kitts to move whereas on the island of Nevis, no organism evolved.
This resulted in 2 different species! Eureka!
After reading more on these two animals I am now sure that they are two completely unrelated species. Speciation must have occured sometime, somewhere between these two species. Some event must have caused postzygotic reproduction isolation because Sciurus nevia-minor and Sciurus kitta won’t mate and produce hybrid offspring. This gene flow has ended but why, I must press forward in my research and quickly, will keep you informed.
I have decided to name these two species…to make everyone’s lives a bit easier.
The Nevis rodent shall be Sciurus nevia-minor becuase it is the smaller of the 2 and originated on Nevis.
The St. Kitts shall be Sciurus kitta as it is part of the squirrel family and it was originated on St. Kitts.
When measuring the St. Kitts rodent, I noticed that it weighs less than the Nevis rodent and it is also shorter. What really struck me as different is the difference of the length of the limbs. The hind limb of the St. Kitts rodent is on average, 3.5cm longer. The forelimb of the Nevis is .03 cm shorter than the St. Kitts rodent. The limbs of the St. Kitts were longer than the Nevis limbs, so it is faster than the Nevis rodent. The Nevis rodent’s top speed is 0.8 meters per second and the St. Kitts speed is 2.2 meters per second. While observing each species, the leap height is quite different. St. Kitts rodents average leap was 1.4m while the Nevis leap was a mere 0.4m.
The gestation time of the rodents set them apart even more. The average time for the St. Kitts is about 29.3 days. The Nevis rodent’s gestation time is about 42.7 days.
The St. Kitts average time spent in courtship display was about 12.6 seconds. A lot less than the Nevis rodent which is 21.3 seconds. The difference in all of these traits and behaviors set them apart as species. This will be why they won’t interbreed.
After a long day of research and observation, this is what I have for you….seems like these might be 2 completely different species.
I didn’t expect these results, in 240 attempts to bring a Nevis rodent onto St. Kitts, I have not observed even one successful reproductive event. I think I need to investigate further….
Will keep you followers posted.
” The process of scientific discovery is, in effect, a continual flight from wonder.” Albert Einstein :)
2 recent pictures of the Nevis island rodent, remarkably similar to the St. Kitts island don’t you think? I hope this recovery plan works, will keep posting.