Changes in the heritable attributes of populations of organisms over time. Major mechanisms include drift, natural selection, mutation, and gene flow (migration).

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Evolutionary conservativeness

List the following proteins in the order of decreasing evolutionary conservativeness of their primary structure: Somatotropin. Catalytic subunit of a DNA – polymerase. Histone H1. ...
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429 views

Why were dinosaurs not as smart as we are?

According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinosaur, Dinosaurs were the dominant terrestrial vertebrates for 135 million years. They had a lot of time to evolve. My question is: why were dinosaurs not ...
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Rate of Evolution of population of long lived individuals

Is it necessary that rate of evolution of longer lived trees will be lesser than that of annuals ? I understand that new individuals will come up faster in annuals and it may adapt to varying ...
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How did viruses learn to utilize the workings of a cell?

This is my first post here, so excuse me for its simplicity. Viruses can infiltrate a cell, overtake it and multiply. It has projecting fibers whose ends are shaped as kind of a "key" to a mobile ...
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Why did Fair Meiosis evolve?

How and why did Fair Meiosis evolve? I can hardly think that it provided a fitness advantage to the individual carrying the mutation. Why would it? Or did it evolve through lineage selection? Or was ...
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96 views

The oldest common ancesstor of all human beings

Do all human beings have a single oldest ancestor (a man and a woman), or were there were many ancestors at the same time at different places on earth? This article sheds some light. Is there another ...
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247 views

What are evolutionary implications of contraception and reduced childhood mortality rates worldwide?

I've heard the following idea this morning: Before the introduction of contraception, humans conceived quite a lot of babies (there was little to do to avoid that), but the population was kept in ...
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57 views

Preserved alpha complementation over evolutionary time?

Has the result of alpha-complementation ever happened via mutation through evolutionary time, and been preserved in modern day organisms? In other words, has a functional gene product ever been split ...
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125 views

Cell evolution: immortality vs reproduction

Many sci fi movies produce interesting ideas and technologies that we seem to be able to realize in real life at some point. "Lucy" was not one of those movies. But Morgan Freeman's speech in the ...
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Is there any knowledge of physics can be applied in to evolution?

I have asked a similar question in Biology.SE (What physics knowledge can be applied to biology of organisms and ecosystems?), but it just about organisms and ecosystems, not evolution. After watching ...
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54 views

Speciation of humans? [duplicate]

Since we homo sapiens (and all other species) are continuously evolving, are humans undergoing speciation based on our environment? OR has there been any difference across people that could say ...
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243 views

Is sexual selection evolutionarily advantageous?

Our biology teacher says that peacocks will soon become extinct because of bigger and bigger (and harder and harder) tails. Why natural selection did not eliminate sexual selection?
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Duration of selection and survival of the fittest

I feel there is a part of the theory of evolution I'm not understanding correctly or maybe I'm missing it, but would like cleared up. From what I understand, over time random mutations occur which in ...
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Confusion regarding niches in evolution theory

This is the definition of a niche from Crash Course: An area of the environment that requires a special set of skills or traits to extract food and reproduce. Obviously, this version of the ...
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81 views

How closely related are two parasites Giardia intestinalis and Trichomonas vaginalis?

How closely related (from the evolutional point of view) are parasites Giardia intestinalis and Trichomonas vaginalis? Giardia genome is about 12 Mb and its major cellular proceses are rather simple. ...
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44 views

How did the Chromosome #2 Fusion propagate?

There is strong evidence that chromosome 2 in humans is a fusion of two chromosomes of a common ancestor of chimps and humans as explained at wikipedia here Was it necessary for the common ancestor ...
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104 views

Senescence, immortality and evolution?

Many have heard about the fabled "immortal" jellyfish, Turritopsis dohrnii, which doesn't die from aging (senescence) and can revert the aging process indefinitely. It is rather remarkable that only ...
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Coefficient of relationship and path of coefficient

A path of coefficient of relationship is defined as $$\rho_{AO} = \left( \frac{1}{2}\right)^n \sqrt { \frac{1+f_A}{1+f_O}}$$ This SE post discusses this definition From this, the coefficient of ...
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169 views

List of heritability estimates in humans?

Many people on this site ask questions that directly or indirectly have to do with heritability in human. Do you know a list of estimates of heritability of various traits in humans? Or could you try ...
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Evolution of bee hives

How do the instinct to create a hive appeared in bees? Is there some evidence of "intermediate" hives? With this questions i mean all the factors necessary to build a hive, including the social ...
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84 views

Mutation rate in viruses

Mutation rate is a phenotypic trait that evolves. The process of evolution of such kind of traits are often referred to as evolvability. I am wondering about the evolution of the mutation rates in ...
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249 views

Why do genetic drift generates negative linkage disequilibrium?

The very first sentence of the abstract of this article are: "In finite populations subject to selection, genetic drift generates negative linkage disequilibrium, on average, even if selection ...
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768 views

Are humans an eusocial species?

In the evolution of sociality among animals, different degrees are acknowledged. Some species present overlapping generations, some division of labor, and the minority present reproductive division. ...
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What are the visual, behavioral similarities and differences between Yellow Fever Mosquito (Aedes aegypti) and the Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus)?

The Tiger and Yellow Fever Mosquito visually look very similar. Recognizing the difference is important for tracking and controlling the spread of Yellow Fever, Dengue fever and other diseases. ...
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Does the existence of one species imply the existence of many other?

Reading one of Sir Arthur Clarke's scifi stories, I came across a statement something to the effect of, existence of a single species automatically implies the existence of many other species. So ...
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596 views

Is there any advantage of having a mitochondria for aerobic respiration?

If we consider the pathway of breakdown of glucose which includes glycolysis, the citric acid cycle and the electron transport chain, all these processes takes place in some prokaryotes and ...
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670 views

Why do humans bury their dead?

As far as we know Ape Men or the Neanderthal Man was the first to bury its dead. My question is why. I don't think they practiced religion or believed in spirits or faith or stuff like that. ...
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How can I compare rates of evolution for two sets of proteins?

I have a list of candidate proteins as the result of my analysis. I am now trying to find various characteristics that they have in common. One of the things I would like to check is if my candidates ...
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155 views

Can epigenetic changes affect reproductive success?

This is prompted by niallhaslam's answer to this question [Since Darwinian times, has there been any striking/notable effects of evolution on humans?]. A comment by Alan Boyd asks whether epigenetic ...
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Biology view on trait variability

In reading the annotated Origin... I have come to the following note by Costa on p. 168: Again, modern biologists would disagree with Darwin's idea that especially well-developed traits vary to a ...
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70 views

Why can't we call dog breeds different species?

I understand this question might fall into opinion based, but I'm trying to write it so that it meets the "Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience" part and not ...
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40 views

Does sociality evolved before or after the ability of motility?

According to book Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions o Evolution. (Lane, N.;2010), Motility has indeed transformed life on earth in ways that are not immediately apparent, from the ...
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Somatic Mutations in meristem tissue in plants

In angiosperm, in which layer of the meristem does a new mitotic mutation occurring has chance to be found in a pollen grain or in an ovule? I also welcome some insights about non-angiosperm plants.
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48 views

What can myelination tell you about the evolution of sensory receptors?

I am reading Avi Chaudhuri's Fundamentals of Sensory Perception and wondering if the information given about the somatosensory system could tell us anything about the way it evolved. It seems (at ...
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95 views

What's the purpose of colorful mushrooms' caps?

What's the purpose for many mushrooms to have colorful caps? Is not it is in their interest to hide as well as possible? Or there are mushrooms that propagate by being eaten, like fruits? Why not all ...
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$F_{ST}$ when considering a multi-allelic locus

Sewall Wright defined the $F_{ST}$ in a metapopulation as being: $$F_{ST} = \frac{\text{Var}(p)}{\bar p (1-\bar p)}$$ , where $p$ is a vector of frequencies of a given allele and $\bar p$ and ...
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Definition of Sexual Selection?

How do you define Sexual Selection (SS)? (One might want to subdivide SS into intra- and inter- SS to answer) Is SS clearly different from Natural Selection (NS)? Is SS nested within NS or are NS ...
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Why are some scorpion species fluorescent under UV light?

It's known for some scorpion species such as Pandinus imperator, Heterometrus Petersii etc. to be shining under UV light. That makes them easier to capture and collect by humans. Is there any ...
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How do beneficial features evolve in species without progressing through detrimental stages?

I'm thinking in particular of wings on birds that would - I'm guessing - have to progress through stages during which they confer no particular advantage. Or is it that all evolved features must have ...
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Evolution of Homo Erectus to Homo Sapiens

I just read an article on Wikipedia and noticed that some similarities between Homo Erectus and Homo Sapiens in the "Comparative table of Homo species". My question is; Is it possible to say that ...
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66 views

Evolution from Mating types to different sexes

Imagine a lineage of multicellular organisms that had mating types and evolved their mating types into sexes. What are the possible mechanisms that might have brought this lineage to evolve sexes from ...
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242 views

Opposite results between Blomberg's K and phylogenetic signal in Phylocom (AOT)

I've been trying to test for significant phylogenetic conservatism in some plant traits. So far I used R-package picante (Blomberg's K) and AOT in Phylocom. So far these two methods yield completely ...
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How to define “evolution”?

The standard answer to: what is evolution? is: It is a change in allele frequency over time! I believe a complete definition should encompass the following concepts: mutations copy ...
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119 views

The concepts of relatedness - Hamilton's rule and kin selection

Here is a quotation from this wikipedia page The relatedness parameter (r) in Hamilton's rule was introduced in 1922 by Sewall Wright as a coefficient of relationship that gives the ...
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Phenoptosis, behavior evolved for good of species?

I was reading this and felt like the argument is being made that organisms die for the good of species. Isn't this nonsense? This especially bugged me: "'Age-induced, soft, or slow phenoptosis'" ...
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518 views

Molecular Evolution: Mrbayes never stops?

When I use my own data to build Bayesian phylogenetic trees using the software Mrbayes, after many generations, it never reaches stopping status (namely, the average standard deviation of split ...
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63 views

Why is duck fat less saturated than cow fat?

Why does the composition of fat in animals vary? Is there an evolutionary advantage to producing fat that is less or more saturated?
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100 views

Earliest ancestor of humans who could integrate into modern society

Assuming the current model of human evolution to be correct, approximately when did the earliest ancestor of humans live, who was intelligent enough, that if raised from a young enough age, could ...
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106 views

Are humans still competing in the same way now that the first life forms did?

I'm not sure if this is actually a philosophical question, but I was reading a timeline of life on earth and I came to this: 4500-3500 Ma The earliest life appears, possibly at Alkaline vents ...
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Historical recovery from mass extinction events

Is there a way to generally characterize how species "regrew" after the various mass extinction events happening periodically from 450 Ma to 65 Ma. Would the surviving species just start back where ...