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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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Balancing selection vs introgression?

Balancing selection can maintain polymorphisms in natural populations for extended periods of evolutionary time. However, in this paper, Dannemann et al. 2016 identify three archaic haplotypes in the ...
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Why do Pythons have vestigial limbs and Colubrids not, despite the Python being more evolved (i.e. dual fanged and evolved in a later epoch)?

Pythons and Boas are the only species of snakes that have Vestigial Limbs, yet Colubrids are evolutionarily less advanced (they are monofanged and existed in an earlier epoch). My question is: why did ...
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(secondary) human/primate advantages over other animals?

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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What is the probability of transmission a genetical feature of a particular organism to another organism? [duplicate]

What is the probability that a specific feature of an organism will be transferred to the after generation? What are the ways of artificially doing it? What are the factors that play a major role in ...
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Mild introduction to selective advantage of intelligence/nervous systems in animals?

I have a general understanding of why intelligence, i.e. nervous systems in animals, is advantageous: processing information allows an animal to adapt to its environment dynamically and perform ...
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Thermoregulatory characteristics

I have a question that probably is to obvious, or just bad wording.. The terms endorthermy, ectothermy, and heterothermy, are used to describe: A) cold and warm individuals B) the three layers of ...
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What happens between two nodes in an evolutionary tree?

Hey guys can you help me with this one!? What happens between two nodes (in an evolutionary tree) or a between a node and a tip? A) at least one character changes B) all organisms die C) ...
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What is difference between Incest and Inbreeding? [closed]

Are they the same? As both are related to sexual activity between close relatives.
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Are the Adaptations of California Chaparral and Woodlands to Fire a Consequence of Human Activity?

It seems to be well-established that many of the plants comprising the chaparral and woodlands of California have adaptations to cope with infrequent fires, creating a fire ecology. I have heard it ...
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How valid are Koestler’s criticism of evolutionary theory?

I recently read Arthur Koestler's 1967 book The Ghost in the Machine. In it, Koestler criticises the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution—beneficial random mutations preserved by natural seleciton—as ...
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Is Race Really a Social Construct? [duplicate]

It is a well known fact that eugenics before it was done away with tippy toed around the pseudo-science abyss. Yet, the hidden rule to only seek to prove how similar humans are seems to me as a way to ...
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How old is the action of sneezing?

Is there an estimate for when the ability of sneezing evolved? A little bit of research, and some critical review of my memories tell me that: Many, if not maybe all mammals sneeze. Some reptiles ...
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How does DNA code for the actual *shape* of individual body parts/areas (NOT segments or Hox genes)?

Just to save the trouble - I am not asking for general information on how DNA codes for proteins and definitely not how Hox genes work. I have a very good understanding of the evolutionary process and ...
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Will our biological bodies be changed after we’ve occupied and settled Mars? [closed]

I had this question in mind for very long time, and I could not find a clear answer on the Internet, so I was hoping that you might know the answer. If we will bring life to planet Mars and a few ...
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Why do simulations of dichromatic color vision portray medium wavelengths as yellow rather than green?

Please take the time to read & answer this at your own convenient pace. Is this even the right way to put this? Do you think this post better belongs in the Physics or Philosophy forums? This ...
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Does kin selection in eusocial groups (e.g. bees) tend to reduce the genetic diversity of the group?

I am thinking along the lines of: The queen always passes its genes to next generation Drones only inherit genes from the queen's gene pool Drones who pass their genes to sterile workers (by mating ...
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What is the meaning of 'state of nature' in On the Origin of species by Charles Darwin?

I have started reading "On the origin of species" by Charles Darwin. The beginning paragraph is: When we look to the individuals of the same variety or sub-variety of our older cultivated plants ...
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Why does the HLA show a high degree of polymorphism?

I know how the HLA undergoes high degree of polymorphism (random genetic rearrangements), but I have not understood why it undergoes rearrangements. What is the advantage offered when HLA shows a high ...
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Why is the sperm treated as a foreign object by the female's body?

I've always had this doubt, isn't it an evolutionary disadvantage that the sperm is treated as a foreign object by the uterus of the woman, and that immune responses are initiated against the sperm? ...
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Evolutionary pressure related to social structures as opposed to natural selection

I'm interested in the effect social structures and dynamics have on evolutionary pressure, as opposed to natural selection. Has any research been published about the evolutionary effect of social ...
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Are bears related to dogs in a similar way to how cats are related to 'panthers'?

I've tried searching on Wikipedia but I couldn't find what family dogs belonged to. Ursidae is 'bears' and Canis is 'dogs' ; Panthera is big cats like:- tigers and jaguars is what I know.
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Why do so many parasites infect definitive and intermediate hosts rather than just one host?

Many parasites infect multiple host species, with one host species being the definitive host (where the parasite reproduces), and the other host species being the intermediate host (where the parasite ...
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How to determine the number of parameters in a phylogenetic model?

I want to calculate the AIC for a phylogeny that I inferred via maximum likelihood. To calculate the AIC I need to know the number of parameters in the model. But how do I determine this?
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What is an accessible book about plant evolution for a non-biologist? [closed]

I have an acquaintance interested in learning about the evolution history of plants. This person has a wide knowledge on botanics, from personal reading and taking care of plants, but E is neither a ...
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Why is melanin black? [duplicate]

I understand that the function of melanin is to protect individuals from sunlight, and that people living in sun exposed areas are darker due to increased production of melanin. But why is the melanin ...
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How to choose the best parameters to my BEAST analysis?

I'm trying to perform a bayesian analysis with BEAST. I have an RSV Fusion gene dataset(nucleotide).And I want to estimate the mutation rate per site per year from my sequences.Using Beauti I have to ...
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Is there any known reason why 6 leg mammals are only found in mutations? [duplicate]

Taking a look in internet you can find photos of mutated mammals with 6 legs. Some cows with legs in unnatural positions were shown in website versions of widely known newspapers (you can easily guess ...
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Is it possible to estimate a phylogeny via maximum likelihood with two-state characters?

I have a dataset with two-state morphological characters. I am wondering if it is possible to calculate the maximum likelihood of a phylogenetic tree for this dataset. It seems that all of the ...
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Mutation rate and Evolutionary rate?

What is the difference between then?I have read some jobs that describes analysis about mutations rates and another ones with evolutionary rates.I want to know the diferrence between then.
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Is evolution of gametangia in land plants and charophyceae convergent?

Is the presence of gametangia in both land plants and charophyceae a result of convergent evolution or are they of the same origin (and have been lost in other types of algea)?
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How to name hominids, monkeys and their ancestors, all together

What is the name (taxonomic/folk) for all species of apes, living (like gibbons, lemurs, colobos, orangutans, gorillas...) and extinct (like sivapithecus, proconsul, aegyptopithecus, dryopithecus...), ...
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Do biologists believe in the existence of an intelligent creator who designed the architecture of life ? [closed]

I am referring to the biologists who does not support the theory of evolution or Darwinism .
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speciation in a single population

Most examples of speciation describe a population splitting (via various mechanisms) into two or more populations that eventually become separate species from one another. However, what if the ...
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Do ring species exist?

In trying to understand evolution better, I have been looking at examples of speciation, and have thus come across the topic of ring species. I have tried to find concrete examples of how these work, ...
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Can I simulate a previous and next sequence of my fasta files?

I have fasta sequences of a virus protein that had suffered a mutation in 2008 and this mutant had increase it fitness when compared to wild strain (according to literature).I want to simulate if my ...
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How would inserting a nonfunctional protein impact fitness of an organism?

Producing proteins costs energy, and producing longer proteins costs more energy than shorter proteins. Producing proteins which have no function, would therefore presumably negatively impact the ...
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You need DNA to make RNA, and RNA to make DNA, so they had to come into existence at the same time?

A statement I recently read: 'Evolution is debunked and gives no basis for morality. Natural Selection throws away info, it does not add. You need DNA to make RNA, and RNA to make DNA, so they had to ...
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Where can I find a comprehensive delineation of the animal kingdom with all its subclassifications? [duplicate]

Ideally I would like to see a mind map like structure but a linear representation would also be fine. If the periodic table is the touchstone of chemistry where is the biological equivalent and what ...
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Can I make an population genetic analysis from incomplete protein?

I have an dataset of fasta sequences. This proteins are not complete (My sequences have 700 nucleotides,while complete sequences have 1725 nucleotides)I would like to know if i can make an population ...
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Are mutations a source of genetic variation?

Here is a question from the book SAT II Success Biology E/M (where the SAT is the exam taken by the American high school students): Which of the following statements is true about mutations? (A) ...
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Why doesn't evolutionary pressure turn common household bugs white? [duplicate]

If household bugs (ants, houseflies, spiders, etc) were white in color instead of black, they would be much harder to spot and hence squish, since they would blend into the white walls of most houses ...
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What function will survive evolution?

I wrote the following phrase in my scientific text: X is ubiquitous in life of Y. On some occasions X might be detrimental, resulting, for example, in so so phenomena. But is it plausible that a ...
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Cichlid fish in Africa

Are the cichlid fish in Africa an example of divergent or convergent evolution? On the one hand they have evolved similar features to each other indicating convergent evolution, but on the other, they ...
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Has evolution made a mistake with prehistoric animals?

Let me start this by saying I have very limited knowledge in biology and evolution. However, when visiting museums and watching documentary movies, I always get impression dinosaurs (and other ...
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Cross-species infections

I’ve heard that HIV developed from SIV, etc. I’ve also heard that most species (including most monkeys) can’t get a common cold like humans. So then what causes infections to be able to travel ...
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How can two biological sequences be anything but homologous?

If we consider homology between two nucleotide sequences as a yes/no answer to whether they have shared a common ancestral sequence, then given that all life share common ancestry and sequences are ...
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Genes related to senses and their variation across animals

Animals often have very different numbers of active genes related to any sense. For instance, most fish or even aquatic mammals have very few olfactory receptor genes, whereas this is higher in ...
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Mating patterns and genetic superiority

In peacocks and peahens, the peahens prefer mating with peacocks having a large and bright tail. But how is having a large tail an indicator of genetic "fitness" (in survival terms) ? If having a ...
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What are the advantages and disadvantages of tree structure having 3 trunks/stems rather than 1

Due to strong wind there is a likely chance that trees might be uprooted. Hence an idea was presented that if the structure of the tree is like the one in this picture the stability of tree might ...
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Is it appropriate to say “selection of” or “selection for” an allele that evolves by genetic hitchhiking?

In terms of Sober's selection of/selection for distinction, is it appropriate to say that there was selection of or selection for an allele that evolved by hitchhiking? I am inclined to say selection ...