Questions tagged [evolution]

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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Why are there no known species of "wind powered" plant? [closed]

This question popped into my mind as a worldbuilding exercise and the more I thought about it, the more aware I became of the biological/evolutionary plausability of plants using mechanical energy ...
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Account of cats selectively bred for intelligence?

One time I saw an account on some website somewhere of someone - I think, though I'm not sure, that she was an academic of some sort, though I'm not sure whether a scientist or not - who had ...
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How quickly could mice evolve to avoid mousetraps through artificial selection?

So, we have a mouse problem in our attic. I set traps routinely to keep the population down. We have taken pains to exclude them by sealing cracks and holes, etc., but they still manage to find ...
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How strong is the effect of epigenetic phenomenae on reproductive cells

I have some understanding of evolution, being at least familiar with its gene-centric description advocated by Dawkins et al. In particular, it does not seem to permit the inheritance of things ...
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Mechanism of Modern Human Evolution

The known mechanisms behind Classical Evolution are natural selection and gene mutations. The process through which lifeforms evolve is basically trial and error. Many individuals are created with ...
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Would it be impossible for humans to have evolved from chimps?

I am aware that humans are not descended from chimps; rather we share a common ancestor. Is this, however, simply an empirical fact, or would it somehow go against the laws of evolution for humans to ...
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What does "branching sister" mean in this context?

In "[Genomics: A Very Short Introduction]" by John Archibald, the author discusses the phylogenomics analyses: In the case of animals, some components of the multicellularity ‘toolkit’ are ...
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Confused About Why Red Queen Hypothesis Wouldn't Apply to Deer's Color Vision [duplicate]

In this site,https://www.livescience.com/why-are-tigers-orange, it says ""But there seems to be no evolutionary pressure, particularly for deer, which are the main prey of the tiger, to ...
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What is meant by "Common descent"?

"Common descent is a concept in evolutionary biology applicable when one species is the ancestor of two or more species later in time." (Wikipedia) [Credit:https://bio.libretexts.org/...
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Why do rock monitors have such large snouts?

I'm looking into the anatomy of different types of African monitors. I came across the rock monitor, one of the largest lizards in Africa. One of the defining characteristics of this species is it's ...
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Could life protect itself from ultraviolet radiation? [closed]

I have heard it argued that life as we know it (DNA-, RNA- and protein-based) could not have evolved without the ozone layer to protect it from UV radiations. It seems to me that mechanisms to deal ...
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Given that "genetic drift" can happen, why is searching for an adaptive explanation for traits considered an important scientific question?

I saw today on Wikenigma (a wiki for open questions in science) that there are many competing explanations for why zebra stripes are evolutionarily adaptive, and there is no consensus on which one(s) ...
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Are babies cute, or is cute babies?

I have no doubt that the cuteness of babies is an evolutionary advantage. So the 'why' is clear, a bit of research also explains the mechanics, such as babies having certain features that trigger ...
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Have lions, tigers, and cheetahs begun to lose or not yet fully gained tree climbing traits?

Leopards, jaguars, and the domestic cat all regularly climb trees, but lions and tigers rarely do. From what I can tell from a basic online search, the latter are inexpert tree climbers, but they ...
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What is the evolutionary purpose of citric acid?

According to Dr. Paul Saladin, fruits are brightly coloured and sweet because they want to be eaten to spread the seeds of the plant. Unlike roots stems seeds and leaves that don't. To deter ...
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What is "Correlation of growth" according to Darwin and was he correct about it according to modern science?

What are the views that modern biologist have on Correlation of growth? I need some clarification on statement that I'm gonna mention below as well that is it reason to that as mentioned here: "...
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Why are animal's whiskers in a square lattice?

I was observing my cat up close when I noticed his whiskers were in a square lattice as a novice mathematician, took notice of it and wanted to know if any other animal had this peculiar feature, so I ...
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What came first: the ribosome in which RNA is read, or the RNA to encode for the ribosome proteins? [duplicate]

It's a bit like the chicken-and-egg problem. Ribosomes need proteins because they are partially made of them. Where can they get their proteins? They read the base sequence in mRNA entering them, ...
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Why are precultures done in Luria-Delbruck fluctuation assays?

I looked at a variety of descriptions of the classic Luria-Delbruck fluctuation assay protocol for determining mutation rates in different organisms (e.g. 1, 2, 3) and noticed that they all start from ...
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DNA from Egyptian Mummies Evolution vs Human of Today

Comment: I ask my biological questions from the point of view of mathematical proportions. I am not a biologist. Are there significant differences in DNA from Egyptian Mummies vs. those available from ...
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Would the environmental pressures imposed by humans make the housefly of today significantly harder to swat than their ancestors of 1000 years ago?

For context, I am primarily referring to Musca domestica. Recently the thought occurred to me that due to short life cycle of the common housefly, and due to the fact that such flies have interacted ...
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How to get an adaptive landscape from a fitness function?

In Schluter (2000), it is mentioned that one can convert a fitness function (see image (a)) to an adaptive landscape (see (b) and (c)). The key is to calculate the mean phenotype of a population and ...
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How does the total number of genes increase throughout the course of evolution?

Campbell Biology says: A typical prokaryotic cell has about 3,000 genes in its DNA, while a human cell has about 21,300 genes. If evolution depends on random mutations occurring in the genome, ...
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If a HIV+ person gets COVID, will it result in more mutant virus? [closed]

High schooler here. What is the probability of the coronavirus evolving to gain traits of HIV/any other virus from a person suffering from both ailments? As COVID virus enters cells that are already ...
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What is evolutionary advantage of Spirogyra to be multicell?

Spirogyra is just a set of cells connected to each other; it has no leaves, roots, etc... It even doesn't have multiple layers of cells like Hydra. So what is evolutionary advantage for Spirogyra ...
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Why is the sex ratio of male and female cats close to 50/50 (with males actually being more prevalent)?

According to this study from 1970, cats are about 50% male and 50% female. Furthermore, there appear to be about 100 male pedigree cats born for every 92 female cats. I couldn't find any info about ...
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What will be the effect of "gene-drives" on natural selection and speciation?

I understand that gene-drives not only contain a genetic mutation brought about by CRISPR-CAS, but that rather they also contain the alleles necessary for CRISPR-cas to operate in descendants. Thus ...
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What are the apomorphies of Streptophyta that delineate them from Chlorophyta in Viridiplantae?

I'm reading through Plant Systematics, 3rd Edition by Michael G. Simpson, and am having a hard time understanding the differences between the Chlorophytes and Streptophytes - discussed in Chapter 3: ...
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Do all vertebrates have a hypothalamus?

Since mammals and birds are warm-blooded animals, it's got me thinking whether our less-evolved vertebrate pals (reptiles in particular) have a sort of mechanism, alike to our hypothalami, that is ...
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Really having problem comprehending this Hardy-Weinberg example from biology textbook

Genetic equilibrium is a hypothetical state, but it is often used as a benchmark. Consider how the Hardy–Weinberg equations were used in early studies of an allele that causes hereditary ...
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Which anaerobic environments would exist without aerobic life?

All of the anaerobic environments I can think of are that way because a layer of aerobic life above them separates them from oxygen. If the aerobic life were removed, the anaerobic compartment would ...
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Do microorganisms have complex social behaviors like dominance hierarchies, just as "higher animals" do?

I used to believe that dominance hierarchy (a.k.a. pecking order) exists in higher order animals and is associated with complex social behavior. See the wikipedia definition of dominance hierarchy and ...
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What are the definition of pecking order? [closed]

Pecking order is the phenomenon that dominating individual usually eat first. It is commonly observed in animals. In animals, it is often due to the fact that the strong individual won the fights for ...
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How to choose which animals to study when designing evolutionary neuroscience research project

I am currently writing a reseach project for a scientific initiation and my idea would be a literature review identifying all empirical physiological and anatomical evidence for the presence and ...
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How does genetic feedback shape the evolution of whole ecosystems?

While looking into the organization of ecosystems and how evolution shapes it, I've been reading "Ecology" (1975) by Eugene Odum. In chapter 6, p. 167, Odum speaks about the mutualistic ...
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Price Equation in Evolution

I am trying to solve for $\text{cov}(w_i,z_i)+E(w_i\Delta z_i)$ as it apears in Price Equations in terms of the mean $\overline{w}$ and variance $\sigma_{w}^2$ of the fitness of a population where I ...
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Abilities used to survive against natural enemies: directional selection or frequency-dependent selection?

Regarding abilities used to survive predators and parasites, are they subjected more to directional selection or frequency-dependent selection? It's usually that host-parasite coevolution is ...
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Can a baby have a combination of traits transferred by the parents? [closed]

like: B=black color. b=white color. e.g.: one parent has genotype for skin color as (BB) and the other parent has genotype for the same trait as (bb). can the child have the skin color which not too ...
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Why are bacterial genomes limited in size compared to eukaryotic ones?

I was looking at this graph that shows that the eukaryotic genome has "no size limit" whilst the bacterial one does. Unfortunately the graph has no reference but essentially the idea is that ...
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Why isn't pure animal fat appetizing to humans? [closed]

When eating beef or lamb, humans almost invariably trim away the gristle. Tastes are a bit more varied with poultry and pork but, there too, most people don't like to eat pure animal fat. (Although ...
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What did Masatoshi Nei 1972 mean by "However, evolution does not occur so as to assure this property at least at the nucleotide level."?

In Nei 1972 he describes what is now called Nei's standard genetic distance. This math.SE post provides an exerpt to the definition of Nei's standard genetic distance. In this paper he states In the ...
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How is the extraordinary eyesight of some deep-sea creatures explained?

Mantis shrimp is a marine crustacean that is known to have a vision system that is much more complex than the eyes of many animals living on the ground. As explained here, it has 12 types of ...
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What insect/invertebrate species evolves fastest?

I am starting an experiment in which I will be forcing evolution in a moderately complex species of insect or invertebrate. I am prepared for the possible longevity of this experiment, but i have no ...
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In evolutionary history, which came first - neuron or astrocyte?

As research is showing astrocytes role in information processing [1], I am interested in knowing which evolved first - an astrocye or a neuron ? [1] Santello, M., Toni, N. & Volterra, A. Astrocyte ...
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What is the current scientific consensus regarding the relationship between Eukaryotes and Archaea?

In the traditional 3-domain system, the domains Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukaryota are all distinct from one another, with the latter 2 usually being sister-groups in a clade. However recent evidence ...
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Why isn't speciation a negative feedback loop?

To rephrase my question more articulately: Speciation begins when two groups within a species starts to become reproductively isolated, and is complete when the two groups can't interbreed (for the ...
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The evolutionary advantage of sending the most fearless to the front

Let species A be prey to another species B. Assume that predators B only attack isolated individuals A (because they are afraid of larger groups of A's). So it is good for species A to be on the way ...
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How does natural selection interacts with sustained mask use?

At leasts in some European countries, the number of respiratory (non-covid) infectious diseases on children this term is higher than last year and similar to pre-pandemic years in spite of social ...
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Is there a functional reason why the right side of the heart has a tricuspid valve while the left has a bicuspid one?

Is there a functional reason why the right side of the heart has a tricuspid valve while the left has a bicuspid one? Why is it necessary that the right atrioventricular valve be 3-cusped?
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Is there an evolutionary advantage to bees to becoming docile when exposed to smoke?

I have not seen other research on this on line, it occurred to me though that this physiological behavior / stimulus-response of bees (calm down when exposed to smoke) might be a subject for original ...

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