The Elements of Evolution (33-6-1) Wrasses


The biomechanics of animal limbs has evolved to meet the functional demands for movement associated with different behaviors and environments. Effective movement relies not only on limb mechanics but also on appropriate mechanosensory feedback. ~ American biomechanist Melina Hale et al

Wrasses are a large and diverse family of marine fish. Many are brightly colored. Researchers studied the fins of different wrasse species to discern the dynamics of their evolution. What they found, unsurprisingly, was that the means to use fins coevolved with the fins themselves.

As fins evolve different shapes, behaviors, and mechanical properties, the sensory system is also evolving with them. This allows the sensory system to be tuned to the different stimuli relevant to the locomotor behaviors and fin mechanics of different species. ~ American biologist and anatomist Brett Aiello

This is just one of countless examples illustrating that trait emergence is a coordinated endeavor. Evolution simply would not be possible if this were not so.

There are high levels of parallelism between swimming behavior, fin shape, mechanics, and mechanosensation in fishes. ~ American evolutionary biologist Mark Westneat et al