The world’s greatest concentration of unique mammals


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DiegoMariottini / shutterstock

A Philippines island has the world’s greatest concentration of unique mammals – here’s why

Ben Garrod

Fellow, Animal & Environmental Biology, Anglia Ruskin University

We’re taught that evolution is all about “survival of the fittest”. But that’s not always the case. In fact, sometimes evolution can be the result of a lucky animal finding “any port in a storm”. And the finding that Luzon, an island in the Philippines, has the greatest concentration of unique mammals in the world – even more than Madagascar – is the perfect example.

Islands are often examples of an evolutionary free for all, where a newly-introduced species may find itself in the perfect situation, whether that’s a new and different type of habitat and resources or even a complete lack of competitors and predators. Being introduced to an island ecosystem can turn a rather mediocre mainland species into a weird and wonderful new creation. Read more.