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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486 views

How does the genetic code evolve?

After looking at this question, some other questions poped in my mind. The DNA code is redundant, there are 20 amino acids for 64 possible nucleotide combinations. Therefore some amino acid are coded ...
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2answers
258 views

How do we know that dinosaurs were related to lizards and/or birds?

Do we clearly know what the living closest relative of the dinosaurs are? And connected to the first question, in scientific manner how do we know these relationship between extinct species and living ...
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1answer
70 views

Additive genetic variance with $n$ loci

The genetic variance of a quantitative trait (the quantitative trait in question is fitness) can be express as the sum of two components, the dominance and additive variance: $$\sigma_D^2 + ...
2
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1answer
107 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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1answer
84 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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1answer
2k views

Why do different humans look different?

Although farmers appear to be able to tell their cows apart, cows look very much alike to me. And this similarity in appearance seems to be a general trail across the animal kingdom: one individual of ...
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0answers
19 views

Propagation of tool use in primates?

There are several famous cases of great apes demonstrating a surprising degree of wherewithal in communication and tool use - even monkeys can learn some tool use from each other observationally, even ...
2
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1answer
115 views

Why do the neuron pathways decussate?

I learn about the brain right now, and there are crossing of neuron pathways everywhere; in the thalamus, the medulla oblongata, the pyramidal tract... And I don't understand why? What is the reason ...
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1answer
134 views

List of the biggest companies that work in selective breeding

Looking at this question, I've been wondering, What are the biggest private companies which work in both animal and non-animal selective breeding? Let me know if Biology.SE is not appropriate for ...
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0answers
25 views

Triune brain model

I have heard about the triune brain model in biology class, but my teacher does not know much about it. What I'm curious about, is this model accepted by most of the neuroscientists, or is it just a ...
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1answer
109 views

Additive genetic variance with $n$ alleles

The genetic variance of a quantitative trait (the quantitative trait in question is fitness) can be express as the sum of two components, the dominance and additive variance: $$\sigma_D^2 + ...
4
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1answer
347 views

Why does the slope of parent-offspring regression equals the heritability in the narrow sense?

Background ---- Notations and assumptions ---- let $W_{ij}$ be the fitness associated to the genotype $AiAj$. $x$ is the frequency of the allele $A1$ in the population. The frequency of the allele ...
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3answers
450 views

Fisher's Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection

Ronald Fisher discovered what he, with humility, called the Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection. This theorem says (in its modern terminology): The rate of increase in the mean fitness of any ...
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1answer
93 views

Life on other planets [duplicate]

first of all I'm not sure if I should post this here or in the astronomy stack. I think biologist are more likely to answer my question. To make it short: Why when looking for any sort of life on ...
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2answers
100 views

Effect on fitness of mutations

What is the distribution/probability density function (PDF) of impacts on fitness of new mutations? I very welcome any partial answer that does not give the whole PDF but just some information ...
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1answer
296 views

Cyanobacterial photosynthetic oxygen yield

I am somehow not convinced that biotic factors are solely responsible for creating 21% of atmosphere (around 40 million moles of oxygen). There may be additional issues here. Since cyanobacteria ...
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1answer
39 views

Dominance/recessivity of new mutations

What is the distribution/probability density function (PDF) of recessivity/dominance of new mutations? I very welcome any partial answer that does not give the whole PDF but just some information ...
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1answer
68 views

How can a recessive allele propagate until they manifest?

Suppose a specific gene has two possible alleles. In a given population all members have only the dominant one. By a mutation on member receives the first recessive allele of that population. Is it ...
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1answer
127 views

building intelligent structure with random evolution requires series of non useful steps

In order to build an intelligent design such as a bridge or a mechanical watch, you need a series of non useful steps. As far as I understand, in random evolution theory, the "intelligence" involved ...
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8answers
644 views

How does the creative process of Biological Evolution work?

In order for nature to go from microbes to man, there needs to be new information. Where does this new information come from? It is understood that Evolution basically involves three elements. ...
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2answers
98 views

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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2answers
155 views

Why do we find nature 'beautiful', from an evolutionary perspective?

Most people I know find nature beautiful and holidays generally involve a place that has 'natural beauty'.
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5answers
5k views

Why are not all species hermaphrodites?

If a hermaphrodite animal (like slug, snail, etc) finds a partner they can mate immediately. If another animal with "normal" reproduction (lets say a mouse) finds a partner they can only mate if they ...
8
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3answers
5k views

Why doesn't recombination occur in male Drosophila?

"Males do not show meiotic recombination, facilitating genetic studies." For a while I have known that this phenomenon occurs, this quote comes from the Wikipedia page on Drosophila melanogaster, ...
0
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2answers
97 views

DNA adaptation in human life

Does our DNA adapt by human lifetime? Or do we have the same genetic information from birth to death? I mean: What is usually called "evolution" means "natural selection" like this: ...
2
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2answers
531 views

How did the first sexual animal come to exist? [closed]

I am more or less familiar with the evolution theory based on mutations. Now, starting with a nonsexual being, how did the first organism that reproduces sexually come to exist.
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1answer
89 views

Chromosome 2 alternate explanation - apes gaining a set of chromosomes?

I'm preparing for a debate (just between friends) on evolution (I'm in support), and one of the points I plan to bring up is the Chromosome 2 evidence. I'm now trying to predict their potential ...
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1answer
28 views

Could mating/recombination be responsible for evolution of entirely novel features?

The diploid chromosomal architecture is rather interesting. For example, because of diploidy we Humans have to mate. Of course in that sense, because diploid organisms often have mate, this has led to ...
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1answer
32 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
56 views

How did the roar evolve from snort?

When Lions roar, or Dogs show aggression, they do that snort-roar thing. They're producing sound while inhaling. How did that come to be when all (?) other forms of sound involve exhaling? Humans do ...
3
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1answer
496 views

What is needed for a G-matrix?

I have been doing a lot of reading on quantitative genetics and the G- (and B-) matrix lately. I get the principle behind performing the analysis now but I am still not sure how to do it. I'd like to ...
2
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3answers
167 views

Evolution (Reductionism)

My recent post was tagged as unclear so I wanted to re frame my question. Though I am a layman, I would love to read books and find the stuff, if I get an overall picture of intelligence factor. My ...
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2answers
3k views

Is there an advantage to linear chromosomes?

The DNA copying enzymes have a hard time working to the end of a chromosome. For circular chromosomes this is not a problem, since there is not a sharp 'end'. However, for a linear chromosome, without ...
2
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1answer
67 views

Effective population size when the population sizes varies from season to season

Let's think of a species which has four generations per year and which population size changes from season to season so that the population size is 100 in summer, 200 in spring, 50 in autumn and 20 in ...
2
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1answer
141 views

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 ...
4
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2answers
198 views

What is the evolutionary purpose of the topology of the human ear?

What is the evolutionary purpose of the topology of human ears? I understand why the ears may have a funnel-like shape but if the various "hills and valleys" do not amplify incoming sound, what ...
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1answer
140 views

Is Natural Selection like a Copy Editor?

I am stuck on a Homework Question. It says: Evaluate the following statement: “Natural selection works like a copy editor; it works only with what is already present in a population.” (Note: ...
9
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1answer
400 views

When does weak selection produce qualitatively different results from strong selection?

In evolutionary game theory, it is typical to model organisms as having a base fitness that is modified slightly by the game interaction. The ratio of the game effect versus the base fitness ...
4
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2answers
186 views

Evolution in fruits

So, I saw a video on YouTube that says the banana we eat today is not what a banana looked like years ago. Since the banana has been genetically modified over the years, does that qualify as ...
3
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2answers
348 views

Why ducklings are yellow?

Why ducklings are yellow, what the evolutionary background for this? How could it help to survive? UPDATE I agree with comment below, I did remember then that ducks are wild animals too (when I ...
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2answers
2k views

How would constantly growing nails have aided early human?

Nails grow rapidly and constantly, such that without constant artificial trimming they would reach lengths difficult to manage. How did this benefit early humans, say 200kya? Were they used like ...
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4answers
69 views

What evidence do we have to derive a rate of evolution?

When analyzing how the human species evolved and will continue to evolve over time, what evidence and tools (theory/models) do we have available to derive the rate at which this happens? Is it even ...
3
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1answer
255 views

Parasitism and mimicry

I was reading this article which states this: Classical Batesian mimicry, in which an undefended mimic evolves to look like a toxic model, is a parasitic relationship in which the mimic gains ...
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4answers
299 views

Biodiversity is restricted by genome combinatorics?

Me and some friends are interested in opinions for the following: Conjecture The maximum number of species must be limited by the maximum combinatorial/permutational space that can be occupied ...
4
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1answer
126 views

Assumptions of Hamilton's rule

Which elements of the following list are assumptions of the Hamilton's rule? Population structure (non-panmictic population) Additivity = Fitness of the heterozygote equals the mean of the ...
15
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1answer
4k views

Why do we grow so much hair on our heads compared to our bodies?

I've been wondering about head hair, facial hair in particular. Human males can grow very extensive beards should they choose to not shave - however you do not really see this in our chimpanzee ...
8
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1answer
196 views

Genetic Drift: Models, assumptions and empirical observations

There two main mathematical models to describe the process of genetic drift are Moran model and Wright-Fisher model. My questions concern the assumptions of these models, the existence of other ...
2
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2answers
127 views

Is there any evidence of increased life expectancy for animal species?

Life expectancy for human has significantly increased during the last century or so. We all know that there are many reasons that are not linked with "evolution", but I am wondering if such change in ...
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1answer
37 views

What indices can we use to describe fitness landscapes?

We usually talk of smooth or rugged fitness landscape. Are there any (standard) indices to measure the "structure" of fitness landscapes? For example, one might consider the mean epistatic ...
0
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3answers
107 views

Phylogenetic tree

I want to find the conventional phylogenetic tree of human, mouse, C elegans and drosophila, without all the other organisms. Do you know where can I get it? thanks, Noga