Late Pleistocene Desiccation of Lake Victoria and Rapid Evolution of Cichlid Fishes

Science  23 Aug 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5278, pp. 1091-1093
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5278.1091


Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa and harbors more than 300 endemic species of haplochromine cichlid fish. Seismic reflection profiles and piston cores show that the lake not only was at a low stand but dried up completely during the Late Pleistocene, before 12,400 carbon-14 years before the present. These results imply that the rate of speciation of cichlid fish in this tropical lake has been extremely rapid.

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