Where do species that become important players in ecosystems evolve? This simple yet crucial question must be answered if we want to understand how the biosphere is rejuvenated following a crisis. We cannot simply assume that the environments in which we find fossil remains of a given species, or living populations of a species, are the environments in which that species evolved. Take the most obvious example: Fossil human skeletons have been unearthed by the hundreds in North America, but all available evidence points to a human origin in Africa. We can often identify the general geographic origins of species...

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