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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How is the extraordinary eyesight of some deep-sea creatures consistent with the theory of evolution?

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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Definition of Species in accordance to biology [duplicate]

I am confused regarding something my LS professor said in class today and about what my batchmate brought up. Teach said that 'interbreeding must occur in nature' (and not in a lab) for two species to ...
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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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Humans Evolved to Live Longer than They Could at the Time

Why and how did humans evolve to have a lifespan that was longer than that was actually 'achievable' in the conditions through which we evolved? I'm not saying ('recent') evolution is the cause of the ...
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Is modern medicine selecting for weaker immune systems?

I know that sometimes genes are selected against if it becomes evolutionarily useless for example in humans with respect to our vitamin-C-producing enzyme GULA due to us getting plenty from our diet. ...
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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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Collared doves compared to wood doves [closed]

I have observed that wood doves are more quiet than collared doves. Here you can see the difference between the two dove types: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4s47XcDbcq0 The thing is that collared ...
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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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Is there any species of mammals where males can feed the offspring with milk?

It seems to me that an evolutionary path where not only females, but also males could feed the offsprings is entirely plausible: the males anyway have niples, so it is easy for the offsprings to ...
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Is there a single protostomate common ancestor that has pseudocoelomate structure?

I think about 15 years ago I saw a new classification system that placed Plathyhelminthes worms with Annelids and Mollusks into a superphylum (or other systematic clade) Lophotrochozoa, while ...
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Multicellular but uninucleate?

The "standard" biological setup is one cell-one nucleus (with one or more chromosomes and zero or more plasmids). Multinucleate cells are a thing (e.g., in fungi)--a situation wherein a ...
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In the absence of natural enemies, does evolution eventually create natural enemies?

I wonder if there is experimental evidence on this (either from computer simulations or perhaps cases of isolated species like on the Galapagos Islands). Imagine the hypothetical situation of a group ...
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Evolutionary pressure of vaccines towards a virus

I am trying to understand the following quote from one of the Twitter threads : A change in the spike protein which allows the coronavirus to enter and infect human cells that is radical enough to ...
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Why are apes so poorly adapted for walking upright?

Non-human apes are quite poorly adapted for walking upright, in terms of their anatomy. I have found many sources that explain how their anatomy is so unsuitable for an upright life, yet none have ...
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Can a less fit strain of a virus impose over a fitter one? [closed]

According to this link, the Dominant Delta Variant may mutate itself into destruction. The Delta variant in Japan was highly transmissible and keeping other variants out. But as the mutations piled ...
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Can antibiotic resistance cause problems for the microorganisms producing them? [duplicate]

My understanding is that antibiotics are naturally produced by microorganisms as a defensive measure against certain kinds of bacteria. For example, some Penicillium molds produce penicillin. Clearly, ...
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Are phylogenetic trees from sequence data assuming neutral evolution?

phylogenetic trees built from DNA/protein sequences use sequence differences between these biological sequences as proxies for relatedness. More specifically, maximum-likelihood phylogenetic trees (...
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How have some cancers "evolved" to be so aggressive and treatment-resistant?

[In this post, I may ascribe agency to processes, inanimate objects or microorganisms: this is rhetorical, I know they don't "intend" anything. I will also use "evolution" in a ...
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For animals with separate hermaphrodite and non-hermaphrodite populations which is more common, female + herm or male + herm?

I think the question already says it all. I know there exist animals that have both herm and female populations and other's with herm and male populations, I'm not personally aware of any animal that ...
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Why do animals with more mass tend to have brains with so much more mass when it seems like a similar mass brain should be able to do the job?

Why does a wolf have a brain so much bigger than that of a poodle, when a poodle's brain is big enough to do the job, I would have thought. Likewise, if tigers are not smarter than house cats, why do ...
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Measuring innate caring about offspring and long term surivavability

I am not a biologist, and don't have much technical knowledge of biology. That being said, having observed the real world, it seems that, at least for mammals, human beings seem to "care" ...
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Connection between triploblasty and bilateralism

Looking at the phylogenetic tree for animals, it appears that animals evolved bilateral symmetry around the same they evolved three tissue layers (triploblasty). Is there a reason why three tissue ...
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Does using the human genome as a reference influence the chimpanzee genome's similarity to the human genome?

It is often stated that human and chimp genomes are 98% similar, e.g. this is included in an article on the American Museum of Natural History website. I also see in the release notes for the NCBI ...
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What terrestrial trait makes cetaceans so successful in an aquatic lifestyle?

Intuitively, I would expect that an organism that has lived in the ocean for millions of years and can breathe underwater should outcompete any newcomer that is not fully adapted for oceanic life. It ...
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How big does a landmass have to be in order for biota to not undergo island dwarfism or gigantism?

Somebody asked it here, and the answer was basically "there's no specific size". Still, I'd like to ask if there's an average size to it. Would a Greenland-sized landmass cause elephants to ...
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Is there such a science in which the knowledge of biological processes (e.g., evolution) would be mathematically axiomatized and inferred (deduced)? [duplicate]

There is the following Mathematical Challenge Twenty-three Mathematical Challenge Twenty-three: What are the Fundamental Laws of Biology? * This question will remain front and center for the next 100 ...
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Evolutionary advantage of the nutrient played by the chicken [duplicate]

What is the evolutionary advantage of the chicken throwing out so much nutrient ovulating all the time? Is there a clear advantage to this? Chickens ovulate all the time for the same reason human ...
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How related are trees?

I was surprised to see how far apart macadamia and hazelnuts are from each other. I always thought all trees had a common ancestor that was also a tree. But that doesn't seem to be the case? Did wood ...
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Did Dinosaurs have a neocortex? [closed]

Did dinosaurs have a neocortex in their brains? If not, when did it come into existence?
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How can more vegetation can result in more species diversity?

I am a high school student and I am a little confused. In my textbook, while discussing the longitudinal pattern of biodiversity they say one of the reasons is that "tropical areas have more ...
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On the origin and evolution of vaccinia virus

I was browsing Wikipedia and learned that vaccinia virus, the basis of the smallpox (variola virus) vaccine, was originally thought to be derived from cowpox but was later discovered to be a separate ...
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Do bacteria select for "soap resistance"?

When people wash their hands with soap, this limits the spread of bacterial infections. That much, I am pretty convinced of. Duh. What I don't get is how this doesn't lead to evolutionary pressure on ...
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What is the highest concentration of sodium chloride for the oceans to be able to sustain life?

What is the maximum concentration of NaCl for life in the oceans to be possible? Was it fortuitous that the concentration was originally no higher, in which case the evolution of life on Earth would ...
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Does surface to volume ratio matter for cold-blooded species with regards to temperature?

While surface grows quadratically with scale, volume growth is cubic. Temperature exchange (gain and loss) of animals is mostly dependant on surface area (the more area, the faster) whereas heat ...
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Are there life forms that freely fly in the atmosphere?

Are there (unicellular) Earth lifeforms that most of their life fly high in the atmosphere without contact with surface? For instance, in clouds, etc? If so, at what max altitude have they been ...
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Evolution of Aging according to Weismann

Several authors agree to the fact that August Weismann was the first to propose an explanation to biological aging (Kirkwood and Cremer, 1982; Gems and Partridge, 2013). A lot of hallmarks (and some ...
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Difference between heritability on the scale of liability versus the scale of observation

I was reading a paper on disease heritability ("Estimating Missing Heritability for Disease from Genome-wide Association Studies") and it struck me that I don't have a great understanding of ...
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How do evolutionary forces influence the number of copies of the p53 gene?

p53 is an important tumor suppressor gene. Around 50% of cancers are associated with loss of function in p53. Humans have only two copies of p53 in their genome (one on each homologous chromosome). ...
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Explanation for lack of wing-leg-fin transformations in arthropod evolution?

I don't know much about evolutionary biology so I may be missing something obvious. It seems that vertebrate evolution somewhat frequently re-invents the fin out of the leg or wing and the wing out of ...
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Cell Theory- does the first cell not contradict cell theory [closed]

In cell theory, we have cells arise from other existing cell. But the first cell did not arise from existing cell, and that means there are some other condition which allows cell to be formed. I ...
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Evolutionary reason green bottle flies are shiny

Just noticed some green bottle flies in my backyard. They are shiny. A shine like that attracts attention (of potential predators) and probably takes some work to maintain. This made me wonder why ...
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From an evolutionary standpoint, why don’t couples attempt to have as many kids as possible?

Many couples have 4 or 5 kids, but it is unusual for a couple to have 10 or 15. Shouldn’t humans have evolved to want as many kids as possible to maximize the chances that their genes are passed down?
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How it happened that in cactuses the difference between the fruit, the leaf and the stem so much blurred if they were normal plants in the past?

Looking at a cactus may make impression that they evolved separately from other plants, which usually have stem, leaf and fruit. But the fruit in cactuses has the same structure and surface as the ...
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Darwinism and the idea of being too successful

Is there an example of any animals or insects that have evolved too efficiently and went extinct due to upsetting the homeostasis of their environment? Outside humans. I was thinking about venomous ...
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On the Origin of Homo Sapiens

Paleoanthropologists are certain Homo sapiens originate from Africa. However where in Africa is still contested. Could you give the reasons why it is thought that Homo sapiens evolved in Eastern ...

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