Changes in the heritable attributes of populations of organisms over time. The mechanisms of evolution are mutation, migration, drift, and selection.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

18
votes
2answers
3k views

How can birds disperse seeds when they are able to digest them?

I've just read in a book that birds' guts can digest almost all the consumed seeds with the exception of mistletoe and loranthus (which stays stuck on the branches). On the other hand, I know that the ...
8
votes
2answers
5k views

Why is it beneficial for trees to grow that tall?

Why is it beneficial for trees to grow that tall? This sounds like a kid's question Mom, Dad... why are trees so tall? Costs and Benefits There are some obvious ...
3
votes
1answer
58 views

Is there selection against long proteins and long genes?

Background thought Titin and TTN Titin is the largest protein in the human genome with 33423 amino acids. Titin is coded by the gene TTN that must be at least $3 \cdot 33423 \approx 100kb$ long. ...
8
votes
1answer
165 views

Up to date, extensive documentary about dinosaurs?

I just finished reading the Wikipedia page about dinosaurs, and I very much enjoyed it. I knew that much of what I learned in the 80's as a child is (and was) incorrect, and now that I am a parent, I ...
0
votes
2answers
56 views

Simple computational biology project for AP Biology class. Ideas? [closed]

Our teacher assigned us a project to do with an extremely open-ended prompt and it should be completed within a month. I was planning on doing something related to computation and evolution in terms ...
1
vote
0answers
29 views

What model of epistasis best fit the reality?

In theoretical population genetics, it is very common to have to assume a model of epistatic interaction. The two most common models are the additive model and the multiplicative model. Additive ...
0
votes
0answers
55 views

Disposable Soma Theory and the case of the contraposition

According to August Weismann (1889), Kirkwood and Holliday (1979): Because of the evolution of an organism that is segregated into soma and germ cells, soma becomes disposable, and in the face of ...
-1
votes
1answer
51 views

Evolution & Celluar Chemistry [closed]

I'm new to this site but had a question on evolution, apologies if some of these questions seem basic but they are from a book i am reading challenging the role of chance in evolution. Taking the ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

Ewens-Watterson Test of Neutrality

The Ewens-Watterson test is one of the first test of neutrality (of no selection). Later came tests such as Tajima's D or Fu, Li's G and many other. Question Can you please make a description of how ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Is Mutation Theory still “valid” for complex organisms?

I'm afraid like most people I suffer from having learned "A History of Evolution" in school, rather than cutting to the chase and learning the actual "up to date" version of the subject. (Imagine if ...
1
vote
1answer
23 views

How to incorporate intraspecific variation in discrete characters in comparative analyzes?

I'd like to run a multivariate analysis (Pavoine et al. 2011) that aims to disentagle the effect of environmental gradients on traits, considering its autocorrelation with phylogeny and space. It uses ...
52
votes
2answers
8k views

What is the evolutionary advantage of red-green color blindness?

Red-green colorblindness seems to make it harder for a hunter-gatherer to see whether a fruit is ripe and thus worth picking. Is there a reason why selection hasn't completely removed red-green ...
1
vote
1answer
463 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Relationship between genetic diversity within and between species

Here is a quote from Wagner (2008) A second line of evidence [against neutralism] comes from the relationship between the mean number of polymorphic differences between alleles within a species, $\...
0
votes
0answers
13 views

Are there any pre-existing evolutionary explanations for the viscosity and abundance of canine mucus?

If there is, it's not something you find on search engines. To be honest, I first posed this question in a "Bad Ad-hoc Hypothesis" convention kind of context, but now I'm curious if there's any real ...
7
votes
1answer
615 views

What are the atmospheric requirements for large dinosaurs?

What are the atmospheric requirements for large dinosaurs? and are the atmospheric constituents for supporting large dinosaurs any different from the atmosphere today?
4
votes
1answer
194 views
2
votes
2answers
313 views

Are there natural selection experiments that quantitatively agree with theoretical modeling? [closed]

Has anyone ever conducted an evolution experiment and quantitatively compared it to theory? For example, has anyone ever put bacteria in a million petri dishes filled with antibiotics and calculated ...
38
votes
8answers
6k views

Why does evolution not make our life longer?

Why does evolution not make life longer for humans or any other species? Wouldn't evolution favour a long life?
0
votes
0answers
13 views

Is salivation decrease during sleep beneficial?

Papers [1, 2, 3] tell that a salivation decrease is not only unpleasant, but harmful for dental health. What cause that decrease? What is the reason for it and do animals have it? I guess it's a ...
4
votes
0answers
50 views

Did the Great Oxygenation Event also cause a mass extinction?

Its usually assumed that the Great Oxidation Event around 2.3 bya caused a great extinction of anaerobic life on earth. But as I was reading Nick Lane's book, ...
8
votes
4answers
966 views

Why would lethal genes evolve?

I've been reading through 'The Selfish Gene' by Dawkins. At a few places in the book he states that incest is damaging because it would give a very high chance of lethal recessive genes becoming ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

Biological species concept [duplicate]

I could not understand a portion of an article I was reading. It was about biological species concept and it said ' There is difficulty in the application of biological species concept in those ...
2
votes
1answer
144 views

Mutation-drift equilibrium and among loci variance in heterozygosity

At mutation-drift balance, the increased heterozygosity brought by new mutations is exactly equal to the loss of heterozygosity due to genetic drift. At equilibrium, the expected heterozygosity for a ...
2
votes
0answers
84 views

How does the introduction of clones would affect population genetics? [closed]

Since the ability to clone animals gives another way to preserve species, this could help for the breeding process. It has been noted that with the ability to clone animals, endangered species can ...
5
votes
1answer
152 views

Selection Pressure on Orca Whale Coloration

What is the proposed selection pressure that leads to the distinctive coloration of Orca whales? I can find nothing in the literature.
1
vote
2answers
43 views

What did cyanobacteria gain from photosynthesis?

As far as I understand, cyanobacteria began performing photosynthesis long before plant cells as we know them arrived on the scene. But cyanobacteria do not seem to use polysaccharides in the same way ...
19
votes
5answers
2k views

How can homosexuality evolve despite natural selection?

I would imagine that the answer to this question would be population control, especially since even if one sibling is homosexual this does not necessarily mean that the other siblings will be too.
3
votes
1answer
296 views

Examples of Vestigial Genes

I consider the existence of a broken GULO gene in humans to be the clearest evidence for human evolution - just what else is it doing there otherwise? Are there any other examples of vestigial genes ...
0
votes
0answers
9 views

Do bears generally have sesamoid bones in their fore and hind feet?

I can't seem to find any information specifically (that shows photographic evidence) of whether bears (of any kind) have sesamoid bones in their feet. And whenever I read information that says that ...
0
votes
0answers
41 views

Why females evolved to be physically weaker than males? [duplicate]

Why have male-female diverged in relationship to strength? What is the evolutionary advantage for this?
5
votes
1answer
4k views

Why are men stronger than women?

What are the evolutionary explanations for why women are physically weaker than men (on average), and is this difference adaptive? See figure one here. I suppose that something puts pressure on men ...
0
votes
0answers
13 views

Effective population size of a metapopulation structured on a grid

Scenario Consider a rectangular metapopulation consisting of $x \cdot y$ demes, where $x$ is the number of deme horizontally and $y$ is the number of demes vertically. The population size per deme is ...
0
votes
0answers
14 views

Effective population size of a continuously spread population

Is there any model to calculate (theoretical predictions) the effective population size of a continuously spread population? Imagine for example a population spread over an infinite 2D landscape. ...
5
votes
2answers
160 views

Components of the concept of Developmental Noise?

Developmental noise is a concept that correspond to the amount of possible phenotypic variance of a given genotype in a given environment. Intrinsic noise (aka Cellular noise) is a component of ...
4
votes
2answers
219 views

Randomness in living systems

The point of my question is not to talk about events that are uncontrolled by living organisms. My question is about controlled randomness, or I'd like to say adaptive random process. Process that are ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Why do many people seem to prefer unhealthy compared to healthy foods?

I don't have any concrete statistics on this but many of us seem to love the taste of food that is unhealthy for us. Over the centuries, wouldn't it have been a non negligible advantage to those who ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

Are there evolutionary advantages for the bee sting to kill the bee?

The question title says it all: are there advantages for the sting of a bee to kill the bee? It seems to me getting rid of this would have only advantages, and might've been selected for if a mutation ...
-1
votes
1answer
47 views

Which of these versions of allopatric speciation is correct? [closed]

I'm confused with the illustrations of allopatric speciation. Here are two diagrams- Which one of them is correct and why? According to wikipedia the second figure is correct but I'd like to know ...
1
vote
2answers
121 views

Does evolution head to some optimum? [closed]

Currently we have many species which are "good enough" for current environment, some species emerge, another die. So let's say that they could be close to some local optima. Does the evolution head to ...
0
votes
2answers
64 views

Would it be possible to eat things from another planet [closed]

Although at first glance my question is perhaps better suited for a space exploration or sci-fi forum I looked and felt this forum was more appropriate. What makes plants and animals edible and ...
3
votes
2answers
739 views

Can parents' learned traits be transmitted genetically?

I am wondering whether a behavioral trait (e.g. fear or stress experienced in the lifetime of the parent) can be transmitted genetically to its offspring? I understand that a behavioral tendency for ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

Has anything evolved to prey on endoparasites?

Is there any organism which lives within a host but gains nutrition not from host cells/materials but by preying on the host's endoparasites? If not, what barriers might exist to the evolution of ...
11
votes
5answers
402 views

Why have parasites not evolved to be harmless?

I have yet to understand why so many viruses or bacteria haven't evolved to be harmless (specifically, I don't know of any harmless virus). I think it would be greatly beneficial for a virus to ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium generalized to add inbreeding (non-random mating)

Background Quoting from Gillespie's book The level of inbreeding is measured by the inbreeding coefficient, $F_I$, which is the probability that two alleles in an individual are identity by ...
12
votes
3answers
297 views

Is there any evolutionary advantage of selection of L-amino acid over D-amino acid?

After listening to a scientific talk, I had this question that why in the natural selection process, are the L-amino acids selected over the D- form. However, we still we produce D-amino acids; ...
-3
votes
1answer
53 views

What are anagenesis and cladogenesis?

Are they two types of speciation? I have read wikipedia but can't figure out if they are really two types of speciation
3
votes
2answers
511 views

Key points of Wagner's theory of innovation

What are the key points of Andreas Wagner's "theory of innovation" from his book The Origins of Evolutionary Innovations? Specifically: What is new in his theory? What problems in evolutionary ...
2
votes
0answers
56 views

Population size and genetic drift - What are the evidences?

Wright-Fisher model From the Wright-Fisher model of genetic drift, the random sampling of allele from one generation to the next is taken from a binomial distribution with parameters $2N$ and $p$, ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Under what circumstances does Batesian mimicry evolve? [closed]

Batesian mimicry is a form of biological resemblance in which a noxious, or dangerous, organism (the model), equipped with a warning system such as conspicuous colouration, is mimicked by a harmless ...