Paleontology and Chronology of Two Evolutionary Transitions by Hybridization in the Bahamian Land Snail Cerion

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Science  13 Dec 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5294, pp. 1894-1897
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5294.1894


The late Quaternary fossil record of the Bahamian land snail Cerion on Great Inagua documents two transitions apparently resulting from hybridization. In the first, a localized modern population represents the hybrid descendants of a 13,000-year-old fossil form from the same area, introgressed with the modern form now characteristic of the adjacent regions. In the second case, a chronocline spanning 15,000 to 20,000 years and expressing the transition of an extinct fossil form to the modern form found on the south coast was documented by morphometry of fossils dated by amino acid racemization and radiocarbon. Hybrid intermediates persisted for many thousands of years.