Data from: Is permanent parasitism reversible? – Critical evidence from early evolution of house dust mites

Pavel B. Klimov & Barry OConnor
Long-term specialization may limit the ability of a species to respond to new environmental conditions and lead to a higher likelihood of extinction. For permanent parasites and other symbionts, the most intriguing question is whether these organisms can return to a free-living lifestyle and, thus, escape an evolutionary ‘dead end’. This question is directly related to Dollo's law, which stipulates that a complex trait (such as being free-living vs. parasitic) cannot re-evolve again in the...
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