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 aren't American mushrooms more diverse?

I have been puzzled by American species of mushrooms for a while. In Europe many species of mushrooms are available in supermarkets (chanterelles, ceps, craterelles, etc.). I don't often see mushrooms ...
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Why did we lose our fourth type of cone cell (in the eye)?

Most species of birds, reptiles and fish have four types of cone cells in their retina, thus they have four independent channels for conveying color information. They are: short-wave (S) cones: ...
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Does natural selection(NS) exists only as an imaginary construct in the human mind and if not [closed]

... can you point to nature and show me NS like I can show you volcanic activity, water cycle, fire, or reproduction?
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Evolution advantage of feces [closed]

It will be so nice if pets don't have feces to deal with. Species that can digest and absorb more nutrition/energy from food could have a higher chance of survival given the same amount of food ...
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Why do humans have flat faces, as compared to chimps?

Apparently adult, particularly older human faces resemble infantile chimps more tham they resemble any other adult hominid. And adult humans even have as many body hair follicles as infantile chimps. ...
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What do genetic variations within a species look like before it evolves into two species via cladogenesis?

Theories of evolution show that for cladogenesis to happen, two populations within the same parent species need to be reproductively isolated. When genetic differences become large enough for their ...
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Recommended books and articles on the origin and evolution of sexual reproduction? [closed]

I'm interested in learning about the origin and evolution of life on Earth. In particular, one topic that puzzles me a lot as a layman is the evolution of sexual reproduction, since the DNA mutations ...
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Why do flexor and extensor group of lower limb attach on opposite sides in forelimb of mammals?

The flexor and extensor group of the forearm attach on the medial and lateral condyle of the ulna respectively. What is the evolutionary explanation for that? Selected for to favour internal and ...
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Are there computational models verifying the feasibility that complex biological systems can emerge by random mutations plus natural selection?

I am interested in studying the theoretical feasibility that very complex systems such as the vascular system, the respiratory system, the nervous system, the digestive system, among others, could ...
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Can DNA be used directly to determine the age of a mutation?

I've studied that proteins found in a sample as biochemical evidences for evolution. Its variation in structure and configuration can be used to date the age when that mutation occured, effectively ...
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Is there a bacterium that became a virus?

Is it possible for a virus to be a descendant of a bacterium that was not through horizontal gene transfer? How I think this could happen: Suppose a species of bacteria lives in an environment where ...
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Why animals haven’t yet evolve in 2020? [closed]

In past when I was born like 1990s I notice most animals haven’t evolved in 30yrs. Example cats haven’t gain more muscular body as to be strong to defend themselves from predators like well many ...
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How would evolution explain parastitic wasps? [duplicate]

I read this article about wasps that can do "brain surgery" on cockroaches. https://www.wired.com/2014/02/absurd-creature-of-the-week-jewel-wasp/ How does evolution create such a thing? The brain ...
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How did we evolve to raise our arms when someone kicks a football at us

How did we evolve to raise our arms to protect our vital organs when we see a projectile hurling towards us a prey attacking and to break our fall by using hands. Surely this couldnt have happened ...
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Why such diversity in sexual dimorphism in passerines?

In searching for info to answer my question, I’ve found a fascinating 1998 article by Owens and Hartley from Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B. It reports such cool findings as that When we break up plumage-...
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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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Clarification regarding a statement in “The Selfish Gene” by Richard Dawkins

In the third chapter of The Selfish Gene: Immortal coils, Dr.Dawkins makes the following statement while arguing for the case that ultimately "the gene" as he defines it is the unit of natural ...
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Predicting Virus target organs using genomic similarity

I am doing a study to see if the target organs of any virus ,in case of humans, can be predicted taking into account its genetic similarity with other viruses. I have also limited the number of organs ...
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Lineage inference based on N randomly partitioned copies of a gene

I am interested in reconstructing cell lineages based on the sequences of randomly partitioning plasmids. I can find lots of models to build lineages based on a single sequence (e.g. bacterial gene) ...
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(Soft) Lay Survey of human natural history

I am looking for an introduction to the natural history of humans. I had originally thought Sapiens until I found out it is more a history and archeology book of dubious scientific accuracy. The Sorts ...
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Why do vertebrates have an oesophagus?

As far as I know, the oesophagus in vertebrates has no digestive or absorptive function. It is simply a conduit from the mouth to more distal parts of the gastrointestinal tract. Why have it at all, ...
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How verified experimentally is the Marginal Value Theorem for viruses?

Reading some Stanford notes on R0, they get to MVT and optimal virulence: Consider a directly-transmitted infection from which there is no recovery (e.g., Herpes Simplex). The population ...
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Measuring the efficiency of different forms of Sociality in animals?

I was looking to the behaviour of hives and colonies and was wondering if there is a way to measure the efficiency of different forms of sociality in animal groups. This measurement should include how ...
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When did bison exchange smartness for larger skeletal muscles or a digestive system that can ferment grass?

Patricia Churchland (2019) writes: From time to time, evolution favors a dumbing down; sacrifice some smartness in exchange for larger skeletal muscles, like bison, or for a digestive system that ...
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Which is more evolved Rays or Sharks

I know the Theory of evolution explains that life transforms to become more complicated, sophisticated so that it's more equiped for survival, Just like the survival of the fittest, the fittest are ...
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An online tree of life with extinct species present?

There are awesome online phylogenetic trees such as OneZoom. But they all only list living species. I want to see dinosaurs between birds and crocodiles. I wanna see that humans are reptiliomorphs ...
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what is “a group of living things that can interbreed and produce full interfertile offspring”?

lets call this term "collection" Example: group of humans. what is not a "collection" horses and donkey: can't produce full interfertile offspring, lions and tigers: can't produce full interfertile ...
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which specific field to study to know more about genes and genomes [closed]

I recently got interested in specific subjects : 1.Evolution 2. DNA, genomes etc and its structure 3. Abiogenesis I am a software engineer with good fundamental understanding in math & physics ...
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Can there be significant new changes in physical features of Humans due to evolution in 10000 years of span? [duplicate]

Humans migrated from Africa about 60000 years. And in these years humans physical features undergone significantly in terms of skin color, hair, eye color and facial features. So, with this we can ...
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Technologies that rely on evolution [closed]

It's possible that this is offtopic here; if so, please let me know. I'm wondering what technologies exist that rely on evolution being a correct model; I'd like to be able to offer examples of that ...
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Why do some mammals have incomplete orbits?

I've noticed that a lot of carnivorous/omnivorous mammals (most, if not all the members of carnivora and some ancestral cetaceans), as well as some herbivores (marsupials), have incomplete orbits that ...
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Why is it that evolution of organisms had oxygen as their life-supporting gas?

On Earth, gaseous N2 is abundant. However, life began by dealing with O2 and CO2. What can be considered the major reason for life developing in such manner?
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What does it mean for a species to be ancient?

When we say that a species like cockroaches is ancient, what does it mean exactly? Does that mean that cockroaches haven't evolved for a long time? But isn't evolution always occurring? So is that ...
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Are there any organisms that do not perform glycolysis (or anything similar)?

To clarify I know that there are alternative pathways similar to glycolysis, what I mean is are there any organisms that perform a different pathway that is radically different from glycolysis, but ...
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Is it for some female songbirds impossible to sing?

I have read that in northern hemispheres, most female songbirds can't sing (Example: Blackbird). Things are more different in Tropical regions, but birdsong is male for some species; it is utilized to ...
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What was the evolutionary benefit of enclosing hemoglobin in cells?

The ancestral solution to oxygen transport is with hemoglobin (or, similar proteins) dissolved in blood (or, "hemolymph", but, basically, dissolved in water. ) What was the advantage of enclosing the ...
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Do animals have greater tendency to care for their opposite sex siblings due to mate competition among same sex siblings?

According to the gene-centered view of evolution, siblings have p=1/2 relatedness, thus having greater altruism between them than cousins or unrelated animals. For species with a conventional sex ...
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What is the meaning of a selection regime in this context?

"Our second approach was based on modeling adaptive regimes across a phylogeny for each of the groups in our study using an OU model. We especially focused on the lineage leading to humans, and tested ...
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Why/How do Cyanobacteria Produce Toxins?

I've been doing some research on the versatility of nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria, particularly of the genus Anabaena, and I often run into safety hazards and have to add extra steps to my procedures ...
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Is it true to say that the more an organism is smaller, the faster it's going through evolution?

As someone who never formally learned biology, I assume that currently; The number of species of (non Archaea) Bacteria The number of species of Algae The number of species of Plankton The number of ...
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If rabies always kills its hosts, must there be some animal that is an asymptomatic carrier?

I searched a lot on the Internet, but I am not clear about the spread of the rabies virus. As I understand, rabies kills any animal it infects—cats, dogs, foxes, bats, humans. If it kills all of its ...
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Function of the mesentary in segmented worms?

The mesentary that appears at some phyla at some point in evolution, initially, what exact function does it have?
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How do pseudo-coelomates solve what the mesentary later evolve to do?

Pseudo-coelomates have evolved a coelom, but, lack the mesentary. How do they solve what the mesentary evolved to do?
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Is the primitive streak homologous with the archenteron?

Embryogenesis follows different stages across the animal phyla, monoblasts, diploblasts, triploblasts, chordates, and I have a hard time wrapping my head around exactly where they all relate in terms ...
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Did bilateral symmetry evolved just once?

If I understood correctly, all bilaterians come from a single organism (the Urbilaterian) that showed this type of body plan for the first time at the end of the Ediacaran. Does that mean that ...
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Temperature to kill virus

Why do I see only high temperature advice to kill microorganism, and not low temperature? Why isn't there any low temperature which kills virus? Are they more resistant to low temperature?
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Radial symmetry and evolution of gut tube

It seems like gut tubes are usually said to have evolved with bilateral symmetry. A tube though is just a cylinder with radial symmetry, and technically, it seems like radial symmetry should suffice (...
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Why are smaller mammals more prone to cancer and tumors

especially rats and mice usually develop cancer and tumors very fast, reducing their life expectancy. From an evolutionary point of view, how come that these mammals are so prone to cancer and tumors ...
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Why does it take so long for the human brain to develop from an evolutionary point of view?

I have read that it takes about 25 years for the brain to be fully developed. Coincidentally, humans from the Neolithic and Bronze Age had a very short life expectancy, in fact most of their life ...
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Why might long telomeres be selected for in laboratory mice?

In a recent episode of The Portal, Eric Weinstein sits down with his brother Bret Weinstein to discuss Bret's Reserve-Capacity Hypothesis. It's an incredible story of scientific discovery and and ...

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