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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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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Why did Black and White Rhino evolve into having relatively poor eyesight? [duplicate]

It is well documented that Black and White Rhino have relatively poor eyesight (compared to humans and many other animals). I have heard anecdotally that their poor eyesight could be due to Rhinos not ...
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Are dark skinned natives of Central America dark skinned due to the same genes as people of African heritage?

I'm trying to understand how strong the evolutionary pressure on genes for skin color happens to be. Was it fast enough that the humans that migrated through the Bering Strait had lighter skin color ...
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Do sharks possess a more hydrodynamical shape than dolphins? [closed]

I do not study biology at all. Is it known if sharks who evolved over milion of years have more hydrodynamical shape than say e.g. dolphins who evolved for much shorter time. It probably depends on ...
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Is the phrase “survival of the fittest” accurate? What are the other factors in the natural selection beside survive?

According to Wikipedia: While the phrase "survival of the fittest" is often used to mean "natural selection", it is avoided by modern biologists, because the phrase can be ...
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Visualizing selection's effect on a population with a fitness landscape in R

I'm trying to write a script to demonstrate the effect of selection in a population. The problem that I have is that it is not realistic in the sense that not only the mean would change for ...
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What are evolutionary reasons for humans' limited regeneration abilities? [duplicate]

As far as I understand (I am not a biologist), a ability of a species arises during the evolution if: It increases reproduction chances It is not too energy expensive It is physically possible At ...
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Are SNPs or SSR copy number variation mutations more prominent?

I'm trying to get a sense of the dominant way that mutations occur. I have seen various numbers which seem at least at first glance to conflict, and I was curious if anyone had clarification on this. ...
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Does mitochondrial eve have to exist?

Suppose we took all living humans and found the set of their mothers, mothers' mothers, etc. and then traced down as far as possible. Is there a logical reason that this tree has to converge to one '...
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Can hunting of large specimens of a species make the size and weight of the species tend to be smaller?

Siberian tigers in the wild don't grow as much as they used to be in past (in the 1900s). Their average weight was measured 176 kg in 2005 study. But it was also said that those tigers observed in ...
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Is there “stem” organelles in plant meristems?

Two cytoplasmic genomes exist in plant in addition to the nuclear one. As far as I understand, they divide more or less during the entire life of the plant along with cell proliferation/growth in ...
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What was the evolutionary advantage of having seeds so large that they could only be dispersed by megafauna?

I understand that fruits like the avocado and the osange orange are so large and unwieldy that their evolutionary "intent" was to be consumed whole by megafauna that are now extinct. What I ...
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Mathematical/statistical models for forecasting population distributions of age, sex, weight, and height [closed]

I come from a mathematical background but I have no experience with the topic of mathematical biology. Are there well established mathematical/statistical models for forecasting the evolution of ...
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Does a virus that spreads more rapidly have less chance to evolve?

Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has been going on for a while, there are reports of many new variants, which have presumably arisen in the past year through mutation and spread through natural ...
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Caloric Mimicry

Was thinking about natural "zero calorie" sweetness and how these compounds could come to be via evolution. I was specifically thinking about monk fruit. While artificial selection likely ...
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Could an organism evolve to adaptively evolve?

Besides chance mutations sticking around because of their utility towards survival and procreation, could an organism evolve the ability to aid this process by mutating more frequently in beneficial ...
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How can normalizing selection (stabilizing selection) be involved in speciation?

In Mayr's book What Evolution Is, he discusses about normalizing selection in rapidly evolving lineages. "However, normalizing selection is equally active in rapidly evolving lineages." ...
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Which eukaryotic species had evolved the most after losing ability of sexual reproduction?

It seems sexual reproduction is ubiquitous in eukaryotes, so it is important despite needing excessive resources spent. It is an evolutionary adaptation for better evolution. Still, there are species ...
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Does parental conflict lead to genes combining important functions with functions only advantageous for one of the parents?

In a sitation of a mother-father conflict of interests, the mother might use epigenetics to turn off some genes only advantageous for the father's genes and not her own. I thought a logical father's ...
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Are there any species whose descendants can meet their ancestors from 100 generations back?

I.e. Humans can sometimes meet even their great-great-grandparents, but are there any species that can be alive at the same time as their great-great-……-great-grandparents? I imagine it would be those ...
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Can a trait be too successful? Wouldn't overwhelmingly successful traits limit variability, which is one of the requirements of NS? [closed]

Can a trait be too successful? Wouldn't an overwhelmingly successful trait soon limit the gene pool, and if so, how would the process of natural selection react to that? If an individual is born ...
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Are genetic crosses between asexual organisms possible?

To my knowledge (Please correct me if I am wrong), genetic basis is the key in defining species. When we encounter an unknown species, we can sequence it's genome and compare the genome with other ...
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What is the evolutionary advantage with two lungs (kidneys)? [closed]

What is the evolutionary advantage with two lungs (kidneys)? Most living beings only have one heart, one stomach. Most internal organs are not doubled and if one lung fails it is not exactly quite ...
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Have we reached the technology to 'drive' evolution artifically?

Previously our evolution was due to circumstance, we can trace back all our body features to overcome some 'challenge' our ancestors were faced with. Now, in the modern time, with that large ...
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What's the survival benefit of blue plants?

I'm working on a science-fiction worldbuilding setting and have been trying to find out what the survival benefits are of blue in plants, like this or this. I have researched this but most of the ...
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When is it better for a gene to cause a biased sex ratio?

Because genes are selfish and want to maximise their transmission from generation to generation, if they can distort a population's sex ratio, isn't it always in their interest to cause a biased sex ...
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Is the General Cirrate Octopus Form the Basalmost Octopoda Morphology?

The reason I ask this is due to the distinctive internal mantle shells of cirrina, of which the incerrata have stylets that are a remnant of the cirrate shell. Along with this, both cirrate octopuses ...
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Common ancestry of our cells to the first unicellular cell

If we start the chapter of life with low fidelity self replicating RNAs forming exactly identical copies of themselves, which then later evolved to form the first primordial basic cells which further ...
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Is the tip of the temporal lobe the “top” of the brain neural tube?

The neural tube that forms the central nervous system forms around a cavity that becomes the ventricular system. Is the end of the lateral ventricles in the temporal lobe the top of this original ...
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How do we determine the common ancestor of a species? [closed]

I have seen a lot of articles about common ancestors. But I didn't find any perfect articles that said about the evidence of common ancestor.
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Are there any medical treatments which no longer work because humans have evolved?

(Not sure if this should be on the medicine SE) There've been plenty of medicines that no longer work because the target pathogen has evolved resistance, e.g. penicillin is no longer an effective ...
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The Perfect Predator? [closed]

I’m not a biology major or even studying it in any way so I apologize if this makes no sense. I’m curious, if say the Jurassic Park team came up to you and asked you to genetically engineer the ...
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What is the meaning of 'primary' and 'secondary' sympatric speciation in this paper?

Sympatric Speciation in the Genomic Era. Both terms are used throughout the paper. I'm not able to make sense of these terms in the contexts used. I've also heard the terms 'primary' and 'secondary' ...
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Is it likely that humans will evolve to be less affected by dangerous food additives or tobacco smoking chemicals?

I recently had a discussion with a few colleagues about food additives and there were two major "arguments" about how some of these affect the human body in the long term: some food ...
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Do humans have any biological adaptations to eating cooked food?

Humans have been cooking food for at least tens of thousands of years. The presumed reason why cooking took root in nearly all human cultures is that cooked food is easier to digest. However, cooking ...
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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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Evolution at a glacial pace: how does it work? [duplicate]

Some trees are very long-lived, such as the Great Basin Bristlecone Pine and the Giant Sequoia (up to 4,800 years old). How does natural selection and evolution affect such long-lived organisms? ...
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Does the radula sac in any mollusc serve a purpose other than sheathing the radula?

According to Barne Gat Shellfish: When not feeding the radula is retracted into this chamber which protects the mouth from the sharp teeth of the radula. Does the radula sac serve any other purpose?
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Is it plausible that strict lockdowns made it more likely for the new variant of COVID to have emerged?

My idea is that strict lockdowns put greater evolutionary pressure on the coronavirus by restricting oppurtunities to be transmitted, meaning that a faster-spreading variant had much less competition. ...
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Why mammals don't have renal portal system

I am a high school student and I am a little confused why mammals don't have renal portal system?, some books says that because we have four chambered heart, so our blood is filtered more effectively ...
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Why does the DNA of Bacillus subtilis not contain DNA families of 20-37 members?

I am reading the book "Molecular biology of the Cell, 6th edition" and in chapter one page 18 the following figure is included I am presuming this figure represents all genes within the ...
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What is neutral theory of evolution?

The question is not about the very basics, but more about where the line separating the neutral theory from the rest of population genetics lies. One often reads/hears claims that "the findings ...
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Did snow leopards loose the ability to roar or never have it?

Since snow leopards are the only species in the genus Panthera that can't roar, was this something the others developed after snow leopards diverged or something that snow leopards lost?
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Did mammals evolve from something with eusociality?

Eusociality (from Greek εὖ eu "good" and social), the highest level of organization of sociality, is defined by the following characteristics: cooperative brood care (including care of ...
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Why do apes still exist? [closed]

If we are evolved from apes, why don't all ape evolve and become human. Or Why the today's ape stop evolving to become a human?
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Why would hawk moths evolve long tongues for Darwin's Star Orchid when there are other flowers around?

Why would hawk moth evolve long tongues for Darwin's Star Orchid when there are other flowers around? Also isn't it counter productive for some flower to evolve a long nectar tube as this would shift ...
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Why is the spinal cord shortened in some vertebrates (cauda equina) but not in others?

Hodos, 2009, mentions that the "spinal cord tail" that humans have is not present in most vertebrates. This page mentions cauda equina is not present early on in human embryonic development, ...
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Why did ants and meliponine bees lose their sting? What's the evolutionary advantage in it? [closed]

We know Aculeata is the Hymenoptera’s lineage where the ovipositor evolved into a venomous sting. However, most ants have lost this sting, as well as meliponine and some other bees. Kerr & Lello (...
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What did (domestic) cats evolve from?

I have received this question during a recent discussion about pet birds and cats. We know that birds evolved from the dinosaurs before the mass extinction that happened about 66 million years ago. ...

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