EVOLUTION OF NONVISUAL COMMUNICATION AND PHOTOPERIODIC PERCEPTION IN SPECIATION AND ADAPTATION OF BLIND SUBTERRANEAN MOLE RATS by EVIATAR NEVO1) (Institute of Evolution, University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa 31999, Israel) (With 10 Figures) (Acc. 1-XII-1989) Introduction Communication systems are intimately involved in the twin evolutionary processes of speciation and adaptation of animals. Usually, diverse com- munications coexist in organisms and are mediated by various sensory modes: vision, audition, smell, taste, touch, pressure, vibration, and electrical senses. Any type of sense organ can be used for communica- tion, but most attention has been devoted to vision, audition, and chemical senses (SEBEOK, 1968, 1977; BROWN, 1975). Several basic ques- tions in the evolution of communication systems are evident: (i) How does communication relate to the habitat? For example, what are the major communication systems in subterranean mammals living in the lightless underground, dark environment? (ii) What happens evolu- tionary if one mode, such as aision, is cancelled? Will the other modes compensate for its loss? (iii) What is the evolutionary fate of an atrophied sense organ? Will it totally disappear structurally as well as functionally? Or, alternatively, will it rather shift functions despite structural reduc- tions ? (iv) How have
Behaviour – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1990
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