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

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Escaping resource limitations during tumor evolution

In their discussion of the importance of r- and K-selection on tumors, Aktipis et al. (2013; figure 3) provide the following illustration of a hypothetical cancer growth curve: In it, you can see ...
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110 views

Why did multicellular organisms evolve when a single cell can survive on its own? [duplicate]

Since unicellular organisms can survive, why would there be evolution of multicellular organisms?
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89 views

Crossing over and exon shuffling?

Campbell Biology 10e, in discussing the functions of introns, writes: The presence of introns in a gene may facilitate the evolution of new and potentially beneficial proteins as a result of a ...
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1answer
54 views

Why did eukaryotic cells develop? [closed]

If eukaryotic cells can survive in extreme conditions, then why are their still prokaryotic organisms?
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57 views

Do animals demonstrate target practice (i.e., playful accuracy behavior)?

Do animals demonstrate any sort of accuracy-motivated play? (please provide examples!) Consider most human sports and related hobbies. Most share the common goal of hitting a target or being accurate,...
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5answers
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Why are there species instead of a continuum of various animals?

As I understand it, various animal traits have to evolve gradually, but what happens to the species that are "neither here nor there"? To put it differently, if a species evolved from another, it did ...
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1answer
80 views

Evolution of dominance of alleles

Can someone tell me where can I find detailed text about mechanisms of evolution of dominance? Or, if it is possible, I would be grateful if someone will tell me about them here.
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1answer
155 views

The replicator equation vs the Lotka-Volterra equation

Background The replicator equation with $n$ strategies is given by the differential equation: \begin{equation} \dot x_{i} = x_{i} \left( \sum_{j=1}^{n} a_{ij}x_{j} - \phi \right) \qquad i = 1, \...
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46 views

Does the bending of a tree's trunk in the wind stimulate and strengthen root growth?

Recently Southern California experienced extreme wind velocities and afterwards the news reported over 300 trees had fallen in San Diego County. I had either heard or read somewhere that the action of ...
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1answer
92 views

What came first? The DNA or the DNA polymerases?

I know this sounds a lot like chicken and egg question and while the latter has an answer, I am intrigued about the former. A modified form of the question would be, in the course of abiogenesis, ...
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1answer
542 views

Examples of animals with 12-28 legs?

Many commonly known animals' limbs usually number between 0 and 10. For example, a non-exhaustive list: snakes have 0 Members of Bipedidae have 2 legs. Birds and humans have 2 legs (but 4 limbs) ...
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1answer
48 views

Is it known how human sweat glands evolved?

If human descends from apes than probably we lost our hair. Perhaps in the age of homo erectus we lost our hairs and began transpiring through our skin with sweat glands. But how did these glands ...
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3answers
8k views

Why do our eyes close when we sleep?

Why do our eyes close when we sleep? Is it to relax our eye muscles? How can it be explained from an evolutionary point of view?
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1answer
86 views

Evidence of species transitions [closed]

I had a debate with a person who believes in some kind of creativism, let's call it that way. And in the middle of the "debate", an interesting question popped up. What are evidences of "...
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43 views

Was the frequency of mutations more during primitive earth due to radioactivity?

Primitive earth was more radioactive (or was it really?) according to radiometric analysis of C14 which suddenly appeared at 4250 million years in the Hadeon eon. Is it possible that ancient high ...
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1answer
72 views

Why does the proportion of transposable elements vary so much across species?

Intuitively, transposable elements (TEs) are harmful as they may cause genome instability. However, some people argue that TEs are also sources of variations, especially regulatory sequences[1]. If ...
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0answers
27 views

The evolution of sleep [duplicate]

Are there evolutionary theories as to why we (and most animals) sleep? Some claimed functions of sleep include: restoration, waste clearance, memory processing, etc. But unless we understand why ...
3
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0answers
75 views

Why doesn't lard taste good? [closed]

I mean looking from evolutionary perspective sugar tastes sweet and individuals that had this perception ate more sugar and survived and those that didn't perceive sugar as sweet didn't eat it and ...
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3answers
3k views

Why did abiogenesis only happen once?

If the "primordial soup" theory of abiogenesis is to be believed, self-reproducing organisms spontaneously arose on Earth at least 3.5 billion years ago, surprisingly soon after the Earth cooled down ...
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7k views

Why are the Galápagos islands so special?

Why did Darwin formulate his theory of evolution just after his visit to the Galápagos islands? Why were they so special from an evolutionary point of view?
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1answer
133 views

Have scientists ever produce a new species in laboratory by means of natural selection?

I was wondering, if scientists ever produce a more complex species from a less complex species by means of natural selection? I imagine something like, bacteria which can't photosynthesis and oxygen (...
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1answer
147 views

Can someone help me analyze this article? [closed]

I need to read this article — "Beyond the rainbow" by Marie-Claire Koschowitz et al., for an exam. Following are some questions for which I could not figure the answer out after reading. 1) Why ...
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1answer
59 views

How to understand Aposematism and Batesian mimicry

EDIT I want to understand the reason for intense animal colors. I.e. I don't want to understand the variety of the colors, just the intensity. The Wikipedia page for Cethosia biblis says, the intense ...
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1answer
79 views

Does evolution thinks? [closed]

I understand evolution as survival of the fittest rule , where its the nature and surroundings that shapes the life by extinction of species which are not fit to survive the nature at that period. To ...
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1answer
213 views

What is most ancestral: isogamy or anisogamy?

Sexual reproduction can be feasible with anisogamy (gametes of different sizes i.e. genders) or isogamy (gametes of same size i.e. mating types) or with undifferentiated gametes (i.e. true random ...
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2answers
270 views

Why asexual reproduction?

When I took a course on genetics and evolution, I learned that recombination and sexual reproduction is advantageous compared to asexual reproduction. Sexual reproduction allows more combinations of ...
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2answers
238 views

Can diploidy evolve in absence of sexual reproduction?

Theoretical question Can diploidy (or polyploidy) evolve from a haploid lineage in the absence of sexual reproduction ? For what theoretical reason? How can such evolution take place? Empirical ...
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45 views

Why is marginal reconstruction “more correct” than joint reconstruction in some cases?

When reconstructing the ancestral states on a phylogenetic tree given the states at the tips, there are a number of methods for performing the reconstruction. This question is about marginal and joint ...
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2answers
230 views

Why even if all requirements for natural selection are met, it may not happen?

In the book written by John Endler Natural Selection in the Wild p. 4 it says that even if condition a, b and c are met, evolution by natural selection might occur, [...] , but not necessarily, ...
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1answer
189 views

What are the minimum conditions required for “open-ended evolution”?

According to a paper about artificial life systems, the following four conditions have to be fulfilled for "open-ended evolution": Condition 1: A rule should be enforced that individuals must ...
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2answers
2k views

Why do humans bury their dead? [closed]

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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4answers
129 views

Is an egg classified based on the species inside it, or by the species that laid it?

Basically what I'm asking is if an animal of species x were to lay an egg, and the animal inside that egg happened to be the first member of a genetically new ...
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2answers
122 views

Are there any predators without camouflage?

Are there any predators that don't use camouflage?
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1answer
94 views

Is there a formal definition of signature of natural selection?

I’ve searched for a definition of signature of natural selection. Unfortunately, I haven’t found any formal definition of it. The signature of positive selection ...
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3answers
276 views

Symmetry of species [duplicate]

I've got a silly question, sorry for that. I know, that we probably have no the right answer and the current answer could be "that's evolution, external conditions". I'd like to speculate, why most of ...
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90 views

Evolution of spider webs?

Web making seems like a fairly complex behavior built from a pretty strong material. So how exactly did it evolve? Do we have any clues about what kind of features/behaviors preceded web making and ...
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1answer
100 views

How does the value of K determine number of local optima in NK model?

BACKGROUND The NK model of fitness landscape considers N states which can interact with K other states. For example N is the total number of genes in a haploid genome and K is the number of other ...
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1answer
63 views

What makes animal to continually reproduce? [closed]

I was reading about Trypophobia and reached to Surinam Toad's reproduction methods. Then I had this doubt- Why would animals want to reproduce so much? In case of humans we mostly have the offsprings ...
2
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1answer
81 views

What are some useful (starter) metrics to use on phylogenetic trees?

Im doing a computational biology project in which I simulate evolution under different inheritance rulesets and I am generating phylogenetic trees (beautifully visualised in python with ete3, which I ...
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16 views

Are Betaproteobacteria more 'simple' than Gammaproteobacteria?

More generally, are all proteobacteria named in order of complexity (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon)? If so, would it be right to say that Betaproteobacteria can survive in lower nutrition / more ...
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3answers
506 views

3-minute long inspiring videos on evolutionary biology

What I am looking for I would like to start my teaching sessions with short emotional, awe-inspiring or exciting videos that are somehow related to evolutionary biology (incl. diversity of life, ...
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1answer
516 views

Is there any recent evidence for the aquatic ape theory of human evolution?

The aquatic ape theory suggests that many features that distinguish humans from their nearest evolutionary relatives emerged because the ancestors of humans underwent a period when they were adapting ...
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1answer
219 views

Bootstrapping (symmetry breaking) in evolution [closed]

Many fascinating phenomena in nature show different behaviours on the micro and the macro level. Here I am especially referring to phenomena that are symmetric on the micro and asymmetric on the macro ...
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2answers
163 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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2answers
139 views

Are epigenetic changes involved in evolution?

Evolution leads to phenotypic changes through changes in DNA such as mutations. Mutations are transmitted to offspring. Cumulative mutational changes across many generations may cause evolution and ...
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2answers
1k views

What are we missing about the real workings of the evolutionary process? [closed]

As a scientist (and a computer scientist at that) my view is that if we cannot simulate a process we have not understood it properly. I have been following the interesting field of Artificial Life for ...
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67 views

A non human adaptive behaviour with a spandrel

Is there any adaptive behaviour in non humans which, when it is functioning as it was selected to do, creates a spandrel behaviour? In evolutionary biology, a spandrel is a phenotypic ...
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2answers
590 views

Help with the Price equation

The Price equation describes mathematically the evolution of a population of units from one generation to the next. $\bar{w}\Delta \bar{z}$ = $Cov (w_i,z_i) $+$ E(w_i\Delta z_i)$ I would like ...
2
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1answer
4k 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 trait across the animal kingdom: one individual of ...
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5answers
3k views

What is the difference between a circular and a cat's-eye (slit) pupil?

I've been to local zoo the other day and one lizard caught my attention: its pupils are circular, which, I thought, is not usual for reptiles. Turns out it is, but now I can't find any explanation on ...