Devil's Hole Pupfish survives in the desert
Tiny fish has moved to its home across kilometers of very dry land
Scientists had thought that the pupfish had been isolated in this tiny pool for more than 10,000 years, the last time an inland ocean covered this desert. But new genetic work by Dr. Christopher Martin, a biologist from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, has found that the pupfish has only been genetically isolated from its relatives for a few hundred years. That means that, somehow, pupfish crossed tens or hundreds of kilometres of desert to colonize Devil's Hole.
Dr. Martin suspects that this colonization might have been during one of the catastrophic but infrequent floods that hit the desert, or that possibly eggs might have been accidentally carried to the pool on the feet of birds.