Questions tagged [adaptation]

Adaptation refers to both the current state of being adapted and to the dynamic evolutionary process that leads to the adaptation.

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Evolution of the human Y chromosome

This recent news article suggests the number of genes in human male Y chromosome has steadily been reducing in the Y chromosome for a long time and is in danger of dying out all together. What I want ...
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How does comparing shuffled proteomes to the unshuffled ones help us understand independent protein adaptation?

From 'Protein and DNA Sequence Determinants of Thermophilic Adaptation', by Konstantin B Zeldovich, Igor N Berezovsky and Eugene I Shakhnovich (Published: January 12, 2007 | https://doi.org/10.1371/...
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How are some plants and trees able to grow and thrive on little to no soil?

I was watching a documentary about abandoned soviet structures and cities. At the beginning of the documentary a piece of drone footage is shown featuring the abandoned flats of pripyat from above. ...
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Why have mammalian predators been so small compared to their prey compared to theropod dinosaur predators?

So this is different than the question of "why are megafaunal mammals smaller than dinosaurs", which I understand to be a combination of: live birth limiting size (even sauropods had ...
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Intelligence without natural selection?

Natural selection is not the only driving force of evolution. There are other mechanisms such as genetic drift, mutations, gene flow, etc... To what extent can these different mechanisms (which don't ...
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What are the common dental traits of fungivorous mammals? [closed]

What are the dental adaptations for eating mushrooms that are commonly found amongst fungivorous mammals?
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Does the X/Y sperm ratio in male ejaculates depend on circumstances of sex and who they are mating with?

Male mice are known to have different X/Y sperm ratios in their testis. Possibly, this phenomemon is not limited to the mice. However, can the males utilise that to their advantage? For example, ...
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How do atherinidae survive the drought?

I found isolated pools in which there are Atherinidae, through the pebbly shores of Piave River (North-East Italy, Europe - in attachment there is a picture of the remainder of shores, after the ...
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Why do fish and marine mammals need special low density adaptations for buoyancy?

When one reads about fish and marine mammals, it is always said that for example blubber of marine mammals helps them with buoyancy because it is so low density and similarly for example sharks have ...
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Reasons for the existence of symporters and antiporters

I'm wondering what is an evolutionary adaptation to the evolution of symporters and antiporters instead of just uniporters. Antiporters might help preserve electrical neutrality by pumping in/out an ...
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Does lack of adaptations for sperm competition necessarily shows the species are monogamous/serially monogamous/polygynous?

On the one hand adaptations for sperm competition, such as large testes, mate guarding, etc. are used to support that female in species are promiscuous. On the other hand we know multiple eusocial ...
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Does a critical mass of infected individuals exist after which mutations will overtake vaccination attempts?

As we know, all organisms have a probability to undergo mutations when they replicate. For every infected individual with the Covid-19 their bodies are environments in which the SARS-CoV-2 may mutate ...
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Is there any evidence for sperm parameters being connected to fitness of the offspring produced by that sperm?

In most (if not all) sexually procreating species the amount of offsprings a male can produce is limited not by the amount of sperm he can produce, but by the amount of eggs his sperm can fertilize (...
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Chiasmata and Adaptation

We know that during the crossing over of meiosis II, some portions of the paternal chromosome recombine with the maternal chromosome along the chiasmata. And the number of chiasmata varies. My ...
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Mariana Trench fish "how they can thrive under that extreme water pressure is still a mystery"

New Mariana Trench species is the deepest-dwelling fish in the ocean Exactly how they can thrive under that extreme water pressure is still a mystery for now, but these creatures have been sighted ...
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Are there animals that have evolved a resistance to human activity or encroachment?

There are countless sources, both peer-reviewed and popular, explaining how overuse and misuse of antibiotics is breeding a new generation of antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" such as MRSA (Methicillin-...
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Definition of "genomic adaptation"

I have encountered the term genomic adaptation in some literature (for example Sikkink et al. 2017). I am struggling to parse the term, and I have not been able to ...
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Can the apparent drop in insect population be explained by local insects evolving to avoid traps?

In this widely reported Plos One article, it is stated that, after roughly 3 decades of placing Malaise traps in a set of predetermined locations (counting and replacing them regularly), a sharp ...
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Who were the first authors to talk about local adaptation?

I was curious to read about what Darwin had to say about the existance of locally adapted subpopulations. I discovered to my surprise that the expressions and terms "local adaptation", "spatial ...
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Do Traits Have to be Adaptive in Order to Survive?

I'm reading Michael Pollan's book 'How to Change Your Mind', which is largely about psychedelic mushrooms. In discussing the biology of the mushrooms, he writes: 'Even if psilocybin in mushrooms ...
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What's the difference between reaction norms and phenotypic plasticity?

I'm trying to understand better these two concepts, but I cannot see a clear difference yet. Reaction norm: "set of phenotypes that can be produced by an individual genotype when exposed to different ...
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Is evolution theory falsifiable by whether mutations result in a loss or gain of genetic information? [closed]

If I understand the theory correctly, evolution revolves around the process of adaptation of a being to its environment which results in the increment of survival and reproduction chances for that ...
sergeidave's user avatar
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More general term than "adaptation"

The Wikipedia article about adaptation states: Adaptation differs from flexibility, acclimatization, and learning. What is a more general term than adaptation? For example, is there an umbrella ...
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(secondary) human/primate advantages over other animals? [closed]

I am trying to understand the advantages that humans have over other species, besides what you could call 'sentience-critical'. What I mean by this is, the first set of answers you'll get is "more ...
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How do longleaf pine trees adapt to the florida keys rainforest? [closed]

I know that longleaf pine trees can be found in rainforests, but I can't find anything.
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insect paralysis in response to predator echolocation frequency

I remember a case in which some insect had evolved an adaptation in response to a predator's (bat's?) echolocation frequency. In mid-flight, it's wing muscles would become paralyzed and it would ...
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What kind of owl does this moth look like?

I found this moth and I noticed that it looked like an owl to me and remembered something about how some moths camouflages look like predictors? What kind of moth this is and what owl does this moth ...
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Are we evolving as fast as the oxygen is depleting?

How much oxygen saturation have we lost in the last 100 years? As oxygen levels dwindle and industry, deforestation, and population increases, at what year and saturation will the low levels of ...
Muze's user avatar
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What is the adaptive significance of temperature dependent sex determination?

Why do some reptiles have TDSD ? Is it because one of the genders is healthier than the other that only they, can survive high temperatures?
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What to call a trait that has current utility but unclear evolutionary origin?

I'm looking for a commonly used term to describe a trait that has clear current utility but an evolutionary origin that is uncertain and that we do not necessarily wish to emphasize in our description ...
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What natural defence mechanism does the human body have against lead poisoning?

It is known that lead ion takes place of necessary ions, like calcium, in the body, but does not perform their task, hence wrecking the system. So how does the body eventually recognise this threat ...
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Why does my room suddenly look 'reddish'? My eyes seem to adapt to color

To get the context of this question clear, I would like you to walk through some parts of my house. We'll start with one of my rooms as it appears normally - As evident, this part of my house has a ...
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Do similar adaptations result in similiar genetic code?

Sometimes organisms within the same species evolve similar adaptations to similar living conditions without interbreeding. Let's say we have two human populations which need to adapt to a colder ...
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1 answer
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What of Gould's contributions to evolutionary biology are still accepted in the mainstream?

I have been reading Daniel Dennett's Darwin's Dangerous Idea, in which he picks apart many of Stephen Jay Gould's criticisms of neo-Darwinism, particularly in the chapter 'Bully for Brontosaurus'. ...
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How can just random mutations explain mimicry? [closed]

I have been reading this article on drug resistance which explained that how random mutations in a bacterial colony can lead to development of drug resistance among some organisms in that colony. A ...
jyoti proy's user avatar
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What is this passage trying to say about Darwin's difficulty in explaining variation?

This passage, from the book "How humans evolved" by Robert Boyd, says that one of the problems Darwin had at the time was that he struggled to convincingly explain how variation could be maintained; ...
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How do migrating geese handle hurricanes?

I live on the East coast of the United States, where we are in hurricane season. This week during my morning bike rides in Charlotte, North Carolina, I have seen migrating Canadian geese. I'm curious ...
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Why do humans grow taller than their ancestors?

I'm taking the Introduction to Genetics And Evolution course and in the first lecture it was said that: Evolution in a biological sense is simply a change through time. And very importantly, that ...
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Can a human increase cold resistance through some practice?

Can cold showers, moderate underdressing in cold weather increase your cold resistance? What is responsible for cold tolerance? It's physiology/psychology or it's genetic thing? By increasing cold ...
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Does Batesian mimicry rely on constant reinforcement?

If the species being mimicked, the monarch butterfly, for instance, were to become extinct, would the species mimicking it loose all of the benefit gained by their Batesian mimicry immediately? I ...
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Excessive sweating in dry heat [closed]

It's pre-monsoon season here in India. The temperatures in the Northwest of the country really take a spike around mid April. Apparently the heatwave-like conditions seem to have announced themselves ...
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How do coyotes remove cactus needles from their paws?

Here, in Arizona, coyotes roam and hunt in the desert. While hiking with dogs, I often see spiny bits of Teddy bear cholla cactus on the ground. Dogs often step on these and get stung by the ...
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Which organisms require the least fluctuation in ambient temperature?

Note that I am NOT asking "which organism can survive the most extreme temperatures." Many extremophiles like the tardigrade can survives extreme heat, but also extreme cold. Many heat adapted animals ...
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What makes delayed onset muscle soreness stop occurring?

If someone lifts weights or takes a long jog after not doing it for a while, they can experience delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). However, when they return to the same exercise days afterwards, ...
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Why is reducing the amount of detail required to remember the location of an object in one's environment adaptively significant?

In Campbell's Biology Chapter 51, question 36 reads: Which of the following shows the adaptive significance of cognitive mapping to animals that employ this type of learning? A) It increases the ...
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Why Lungs can't work in water and gills can't work in air? [closed]

Animals with lungs (such as most terrestrial mammals) cannot breathe if submerged in water, and soon suffocate. Whereas, fish can variously breathe air (at least for few-hours, as some fish frequently ...
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Adaptation by standing genetic variation and fitness variance [duplicate]

I've read a couple of paper on Fisher's Fundamental Theory of Natural selection that states: $W(t+1) = W(t) + Var_{W}(t)$ Given a population with some degree of genetic variability, and assuming that ...
Diogo Santos's user avatar
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2 answers
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Why aren't there any transitional animals today?

You have probably heard this question before and in different formats. Usually, it is used as a "proof" to disprove the theory of evolution. I understand that the apes we descended from are ...
Mohammad's user avatar
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Do any terrestrial herbivores use auditory crypsis for predator avoidance? [closed]

Some terrestrial predators "stalk" their prey: they sneak up on it slowly, maintaining a low profile, while keeping as close to silent as possible. This makes sense from an evolutionary perspective: ...
John Walthour's user avatar
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1 answer
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What is the difference between natural selection and adaptation?

From what I've read it seems that the only actual difference is that creationists use adaptation and people who believe in evolution use natural selection. But otherwise, from my understanding, the ...
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