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The Evolution of an Island Population of the House Mouse

R. J. Berry
Evolution
Vol. 18, No. 3 (Sep., 1964), pp. 468-483
DOI: 10.2307/2406357
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2406357
Page Count: 16
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The Evolution of an Island Population of the House Mouse
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Abstract

There have been mice (Mus musculus) on the Welsh island of Skokholm for only about 70 years, yet they are very distinct from their mainland neighbors and relatives both in skeletal characters and overall size. Divergence of the same order was found between the mice on the similar Scottish island of the May and their nearest neighbors. There was no sign of convergence between the Skokholm and May populations. Skulls of the extinct M. m. muralis from St. Kilda showed less evidence of divergence from the pattern of skeletal variation that characterizes all mice classified from the British mainland (which populations are relatively uniform over a wide area). It is concluded that the peculiar features of these island races stem from the chance characteristics of their founder members.

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