Date: February 6, 2019
Source: University of Cambridge
Some corners of the world teem with an extraordinary variety of life. Charles Darwin noted that: "The same spot will support more life if occupied by very diverse forms."
The question of how these 'hotspots' of biodiversity -- from California to the Galapagos -- acquired such a wealth of species has long puzzled naturalists.
Now, scientists at the University of Cambridge have conducted a 'big data' study of almost all the world's mammal and bird species to reveal the answer -- and it's very different depending on climate.
According to the study, tropical hotspots close to the equator have generated new species at a much faster rate than their surrounding areas during the last 25 million years of evolution.
However, biodiversity hotspots in more temperate northerly regions, such as the Mediterranean basin and Caucasus Mountains, are mainly populated with immigrant species that originated elsewhere.