The story explored in this paper is that explores the question “why are there so many bug species but very few human species?” The article was derived from the phys.org website and was written by Darren Curnoe about the research carried out by Joshua Scholl and John Wiens. The question of why the human species is not diverse has long been pondered by evolutionary biologists (Curnoe 1). While other forms of life seem to be progressing in the evolution of species department, the human species appears to have regressed. Primates with whom humans share a common ancestor have evolved into different species monkeys, lemurs, tarsiers and apes (Curnoe 1). The humans have evolved from having a wider range of species such as Homo sapiens and Homo erectus to only one form of species. Which causes evolutionary biologists to question if the human species is headed for extinction (Bloom, Fikáček, and Short 7).
The study conducted by Joshua Scoll and John Weins aimed to investigate the rates of diversification and richness of species across the tree of life. The variation rates of diversification within higher taxa and their relation to the subclades, and the relation of the diversification rates to the richness of their species was examined (Scholl and Wiens 9). The findings indicated high levels of diversification. Plants were found to have diversified in species at about double the rate in which animals did. Also, eukaryotes demonstrated diversification rates of up to 10 times faster than that of prokaryotes (Scholl and Wiens 10; Curnoe 1). Each kingdom level clade was then related to the subclades within them. As such the findings indicated a positive relationship between richness and diversification rates. Contrary to popular studies, variations among most clades in the Tree of life seemed to be explained by diversification rates. Variants in richness among clades has been attributed to the diversification rate hypothesis and the clade age hypothesis. The clade age hypothesis states that clades that have a broad diversification of species are older while the diversification rate hypothesis states that clades rich in species diversify faster. Diversification refers to the net balance of extinction and speciation over time.
The primary finding of the research is that there are significant variations in the diversification rates, especially among plants and animals as mentioned earlier. Also, the study revealed that variations of richness among clades can be explained by the different diversification rates (Scholl and Wiens 8; Curnoe 1). The research focused on addressing the hypothesis that species diversification rates vary across the Tree of life. This is particularly interesting since it provides a bit of enlightenment on why the human species may not be so diverse. According to the findings, this may simply be a result of the different entities in the Tree of life. However, the research fails to delve into the details of why the diversification rates vary across the Tree of life. Hence, a fundamental area of study that can be undertaken in future research is the investigation of the causes of the different diversification rates across the Tree of life. This would generate a higher understanding of why there are such massive variations in species diversification among different entities of the Tree of life.
The methods research was carried out using a long-term assessment of the various species of plants in comparison to animal species. It was then analyzed using complex computer data analysis systems that were able to show the differences between rates of diversification for plants and animals as well as those for eukaryotes and prokaryotes (Scholl and Wiens 10).
The article has presented the research findings in the article very well taking on the study as a focus. The hook of the article is the title of the article. The title of the article which is “Why are there so many species of bugs, but so few species of human?” instantaneously grabs the attention of any reader. The question structure of the article title, causes the reader to ask themselves this question and they are triggered to seek the answers such, many people are likely to read the article in search of an answer. Also, it is an interesting topic as this is an area of thought that most individuals who have not studied evolutionary biology may have never considered. Hence, it is bound to raise interest in the reader. The picture used for Star Wars characters is also bound to catch the attention of Star Wars lovers and will likely have them read the article.
The article does not find the research’s findings in any way. However, it does point out that they are inconclusive since they have not answered the question as to why there are still very few human species. The article accurately represents the research paper as it presents more information from earlier on studies and factual information that agrees with the research work. It also provides the reader with a flow that enables the reader to quickly understand what the research included in the article was. The findings of the study are useful in future studies to be carried out regarding diversification of the human species.
In conclusion, the question of the lack of diversity of the human species remains answered. However, the research presented in the article moved one step closer to resolving the age old question. The article has shown captivating information that goes along with the research findings. The article also demonstrates utmost respect for the researcher’s scientists involved in species diversification studied. The article does achieve its objective of providing more insight into the diversification of species even if it does not answer the question presented in the title.
- Bloom, Devin D., Martin Fikáček, and Andrew E-Z Short. Clade Age and Diversification Rate Variation Explain Disparity in Species Richness among Water Scavenger Beetle (Hydrophilidae) Lineages. Plos one 9.6 (2014): 2-10 Web.
- Curnoe, Darren. Why Are There so Many Species of Bugs, but so Few Species of Human? BMC Evolutionary Biology 9.1 (2016): 1 Web.
- Scholl, Joshua P, and John J Wiens. “Diversification Rates and Species Richness across the Tree of Life.” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 283.1838 (2016): 2-10 Web.