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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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Is DNA from more parents (than two) better for the fitness of the offspring?

I'm designing a system (a computer system actually) and (a whole while ago) I spoke with a friend about it and he had this opinion: If you combine DNA of more parents (than 2) it's better for the ...
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2answers
279 views

What is the best argument for maximum parsimony method in phylogenetic tree construction?

Beside the fact that maximum parsimony is computationally cheap, what other good arguments are there for it? Is there any model behind this principle? Why would one expect this principle to provide ...
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What is the difference between numerical and phylogenetic taxonomy? [on hold]

I am a 15 year old boy,who started developing an interest towards biology recently. I am interested in these two schools of taxonomy. Thank you for all the answers!
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Why are mules/donkeys aggressive when faced with predators but horses are not?

I came upon an interesting quote after going down the rabbit hole on a variety of subjects. While deep in the data, I came upon this quote oat and farm animal owners likes to have mules with their ...
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24 views

Increase rate of change in coding regions?

If a sequence is under selection will it acquire more changes over time because of faster fixation than if changes were neutral? Is this true or am I missing something?
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What exactly happens to animals that fail mating rituals?

Quite a few animals (usually males) participate in various mating rituals to showcase their fertility as mates. While presumably, the successful ones get a chance to mate with females, it occurred to ...
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Why do my pets have eyebrow patterns?

I own roborovski hamsters and a duprasi. They both have little white “eyebrows” above their eyes. This is very cute, but I’m not sure what function it serves. I know humans have eyebrows to try and ...
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What's the benefit of the average human body temperature?

Why would the body choose a resting temperature of 36.1c to 37.2c? It seems a very inefficient mechanism of survival considering the typical ambient temperatures on Earth. If there is a benefit to ...
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Can anyone help me with these Biology evolutionary properties homework questions? [closed]

my teacher assigned these worksheet questions, they are ungraded, but he said something might come up on the test really similar to this so I really want to get all of them right. I am pretty ...
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Are genes for producing heterozygotic twins sweeping?

The tendency for a woman to ovulate two or more eggs at once, which may results in a heterozygotic multiple births is the way I understand it at least to some part genetic. At least since the ...
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1answer
57 views

How are the first mammary glands thought to have functioned?

I happened upon a book (not about biology) containing this text: A life-changing birth occurred on the planet about 190 million years ago [...] the first tiny shrew like creature brought forth an ...
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What is the difference between different schools of taxonomy?

I have been quite interested about biology lately. I would like to know what are some of the main differences between schools of taxonomy. Thank you for the answer!
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How many times have Ecdysozoans made the transition to land? [duplicate]

In my evolutionary course we were taught that land plants are a monophyletic group, the transistion to land happened only once. The same goes for the tetrapods within the vertabrates. However this ...
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Are microbial antigens selected against?

Antigens provoke a response from the host immune system. Could selective pressures result in microbes losing their antigens? Has this been observed? Or are antigens typically so important that they ...
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31 views

Is there a vertical measure of appearance of a genotype over generations?

Is there some kind of a vertical measure of appearance of a genotype $g$ throughout ancestry, i.e. a measure of how many ancestors of $g$ had genotype $g$. Like for example in saying that on average ...
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25 views

Is Wikipedia a good source of taxonomy? [duplicate]

I have been quite interested in biology lately,and I would like to know whether it is a good choice to look up taxonomic information there.
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2answers
117 views

Are Males the main evolutionary tool for production of genetic variation necessary for evolution?

What I'm saying here is just a personal reflection, that might turn to be gravely erroneous, actually I'm asking that because I didn't see it presented elsewhere. Evolution is propelled by two ...
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74 views

Can threat to survival increase mutation rates in germline cells?

Can stress that is related to a threat of survival of a population of animals or plants in some environment, like due to hunger, thirst, fear from predators, etc..; results in an increase in average ...
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Is this model of understanding of what's natural selection and what's not, correct? [closed]

Here in this account I just want to make sure, that I've grasped the concept of natural selection as is usually spoken by evolutionary biologists, truly the wording here are non standard and in some ...
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Is it trivial to assume a version of Hamilton's rule that applies for numerous generations?

Is it trivial to assume that a version of Hamilton's rule that applies to numerous generations is: C > rB C = lineage fitness lost by an actor, B = lineage fitness gained from the act, and r = ...
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The Viceroy Evolution Paradox [duplicate]

The viceroy butterfly generates a toxin compound which make it distasteful to predators. Biologists agree that the viceroy must have developed this trait as a passive defence mechanism to prevent ...
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3answers
163 views

Are inadvertent environmental catastrophes also examples of natural selection?

I just want to understand the concept of natural selection and its relation to evolution. Evolution by natural selection occurs when we have hereditary trait(s) that causes an effect on reproduction ...
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1answer
37 views

How to compare models of evolution to make assumptions about selection?

I'm having trouble understanding the concept of comparing models of evolution with LRT. I have following models: M0 (neutrality), M1A (negative selection) and M2a (positive selection) with following ...
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Why can we hear above 8 kHz

Why have humans developed ears capable of hearing sounds that are (never?) heard in nature. Is it known why humans developed the ability to hear up to 20 kHz when all the relevant noises are below 8 ...
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Which aspects of evolutionary biology are most relevant to medical practice? [closed]

I'm not pretty much sure if this question suites this forum. But I think its important. In what aspects evolutionary biology can be seen to be very helpful in medical curricula? Clearly infection ...
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Evolution of scratching

Is scratching (aka the scratching reflex) thought to be inherited from a single vertebrate ancestor or is it something that evolved several times e.g. in birds, mammals etc., i.e. is it a case of ...
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2answers
172 views

If bacterial resistance randomly occur, then why limit broad-spectrum antibiotic use?

If there is importance to study some discipline, then one of the main matters is its applications, so besides the primary goal of knowing the truth of the matter regarding what that discipline is ...
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Why do fruit flies go so close to large reservoirs of liquid when they are likely to fall in due to surface tension?

I had accidentally left out half a glass of red wine by the windowsill when I went to sleep. As anyone knows, if you do this with a window cracked you will get quite a few fruit flies near it in that ...
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Does the theory of evolution fail to explain people sacrificing their lives for their enemies? [closed]

Monika i Marcin Gajdowie, "Rozwój. Jak współpracować z łaską", the very beginning of the book: Przede wszystkim jednak, niektórzy z nas są gotowi oddać życie z miłości do nieprzyjaciół, a to ...
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What is the definition of “Natural Selection”?

Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype. Natural selection, a process that results in the adaptation of an organism to its ...
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1answer
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Why don't mitochondria have plasmids?

According to the endosymbiotic theory, mitochondria are descended from specialised bacteria (probably purple nonsulfur bacteria) that somehow survived endocytosis by another species of prokaryote or ...
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1answer
76 views

Is evolution theory falsifiable by whether mutations result in a loss or gain of genetic information? [closed]

If I understand the theory correctly, evolution revolves around the process of adaptation of a being to its environment which results in the increment of survival and reproduction chances for that ...
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3answers
128 views

Isn't sexy son hypothesis circular?

Sexy son hypothesis. It states that females are attracted to certain traits in males, because these traits will be attractive in her sons either. But isn't this circular? Like "I'm attracted to that ...
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Can a less fit species evolve from a more fit species, by living at separate places? [closed]

[EDIT] if the genetic mechanism responsible for bringing about evolution is random, and if the environmental favoritism of some heritable traits over others is non-purposeful (like in the example of ...
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1answer
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How did sneezing evolve?

Did we develop the sneezing mechanism to get rid of pathogens like bacteria and viruses in our nose? Or did pathogens develop a way to make us sneeze to propagate themselves? Or did we develop the ...
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1answer
69 views

Can environmental pressures affect genes in one generation? [duplicate]

Environmental pressures are the catalyst of evolution. Pushing a species to adapt to changes therein. My question is can these mechanisms cause significant adaptation over one generation(parent-> ...
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1answer
56 views

Can an animal evolve after birth? [closed]

I am wondering if animals do evolve even after birth and gain DNA changes that give them advantages and make them more suitable to the environment while they are alive, then pass these "enhancements" ...
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If the urbilaterian already had mouth and anus, how it came that their functions inverted in deuterostomes?

If the urbilaterian already had mouth and anus, how it came that their functions inverted in deuterostomes? I hardly can imagine how the functions of the mouth and anus can be swapped. Also, if the ...
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216 views

About embryonic and genetic evidence of evolution?

My question here is about evidence for evolution from Embryology and from Genetics. Mammals do have similar Embryos, but is it the case that for each species there is an embryonic development that ...
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2answers
246 views

What evolutionary advantage do viruses have in host specificity?

Warning: I have almost no knowledge of biology past the high school level. Viruses generally have three components: the DNA, the virus protein coat, and an outer membrane "decorated" with these ...
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1answer
35 views

What does (G+) (G++) in terms of male mutation rate and male-heterogametic XY-system?

What's the expression for $\alpha_m$ in case of male-heterogametic XY systems (G+)? Derive the corresponding $\alpha_m$ expression of for (sic) male-heterogametic XY systems (G++) I have ...
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Do primates have genetic predisposition to dominance hierarchies [closed]

I’m looking for some evidence to prove (or disprove) that primates are genetically predisposed to dominance hierarchies. I would appreciate any pointers/references to scientific literature. PS: The ...
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2answers
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Where did Neanderthals and Denisovan Man come from?

Neanderthals, Denisovans and our species (Homo sapiens) are commonly cited as closely related subspecies, even interbreeding with each other. Yet our species theoretically didn't migrate out of Africa ...
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Has human skin pigmentation adaptation and evolution ceased?

Before asking this question read Why human skin colour disprove natural selection? Does darker skin color make it easier to live under sun? though neither posed the same question or provide the ...
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56 views

Why the position of facial organs is the same for almost all animals on Earth?

I was questioning myself on why the position of facial organs (eyes, nose, mouth) is the same for almost all animals on Earth ? Is it because of a common ancestor in evolutionary history ? We don't ...
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1answer
50 views

Animal with “advantageous” trait in a environment where the trait is never utilized (high cold tolerance in mild climate) - natural selection occur?

If you were to put an animal with a certain type of seemingly advantageous "trait" into an environment where the trait was not necessarily needed, ex: Putting an animal with a high tolerance for cold ...
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1answer
43 views

Question regarding when it's a homoplasy in a phylogenetic tree

If you have 2 organisms that both come directly from the same common ancestor on a phylogenetic tree, and that common ancestor does not have trait "x", is it possible for both of its direct ...
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Contructing phylogeny from an asymmetric distance matrix?

Is there any method for constructing a phylogenetic tree from a distance matrix which is not symmetric (i.e. the distance from A to be is not the same as the distance from B to A)? The distances I ...
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2answers
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Why does the seed of the coconut tree have a liquid in it?

What is the purpose of water in the coconut seed? The reason I ask this is that I was reading about coconut water and all the benefits it has for us Humans. But why does the tree put a liquid in the ...
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3answers
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Evolution question on speciation? Really confusing!

Okay, my teacher assigned this homework question, but nothing like this was ever given in our textbook. Suppose that a type of tree tends to speciate over 10 million years and a species of fly tends ...