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The paradox behind the pattern of rapid adaptive radiation: how can the speciation process sustain itself through an early burst?Rapid adaptive radiation poses a distinct question apart from speciation and adaptation: what happens after one speciation event? That is, how are some lineages able to continue speciating through a rapid burst? This question connects global macroevolutionary patterns to microevolutionary processes. Here we review major features of rapid radiations in nature and their mismatch with theoretical models and what is currently known about speciation mechanisms. Rapid radiations occur on three major diversification axes – species richness, phenotypic disparity, and ecological diversity – with exceptional outliers on each axis. The paradox is that the hallmark early stage of adaptive radiation, amore »