Isthmus of Panama: Isthmian pairs

Image courtesy Simon Coppard, Alexander Medvedev, Ross Robertson, Shellnut, Bob Fenner
August 17, 2016
Media Photo/Video

Photos for News Media Use Only

Diagram showing similarities in Atlantic and Pacific species
Image courtesy Simon Coppard, Alexander Medvedev, Ross Robertson, Shellnut, Bob Fenner

Split by the Isthmus of Panama: Species of butterfly fish, sand dollar and cone snail that today live on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts of Central America are very closely related. Genetic sequencing shows that only 4 to 3 million years ago, each pair was a single species, demonstrating that marine connections between the oceans must have existed until that time.

 

Image courtesy Simon Coppard, Alexander Medvedev, Ross Robertson, Shellnut, Bob Fenner