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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Evolution: probability of certain complex organisms

I know this is a contested philosophical subject, creationists sometimes claim that certain organisms are too complex for random mutations to have played a part. Is there a good mathematical ...
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Why do human females have periods?

Why do human women have periods when most animals don't? It is known that the unfertilized egg needs to be shed from the uterus. But why shed the whole endometrium? Why didn't evolution put ...
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When did the most recent common ancestor of all living domestic dogs live?

Wikipedia provides a very detailed page on the origins of the domestic dog, but this fact does not seem to be present there. Google searches for terms such as "most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of ...
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Why do cats meow but lions and tigers roar?

So as far as I know the cat animals are related to each other by evolution. (Please correct me on this if I am wrong?) How come the big cats; lions, tigers et.c. roar but smaller cats like house ...
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What evolutionary explanations are there for death?

I know death and cancer doesn't hurt humans' reproductive success. It's not helping either. Why do we die? Why dying humans (all of us) are common? What's the point of dying?
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Is there a metric for “evolutionary agility”?

By "evolutionary agility" I mean how fast an organism can adapt to changes in the environment. I’d imagine that a population with more offspring and a shorter time between generations would ...
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Reference to hypothesis about breast sexual attractiveness?

Some time ago there was a hypothesis published,suggesting evolution made breasts mimic buttocks for either primitive men being attracted to women when they started to walk on two legs, or to ...
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is it possible to create an mini earth [closed]

so i was thinking about this for a while now but i need a professional Biologist with this one, is it possible to create a mini earth about an half meter world containing all the resources that could ...
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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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Do we know what the earliest stages of integument like fur or feathers looked like?

From either fossil evidence or from developmental evidence, are there any models for what the earliest stages of the evolution of fur, feathers or similar structures like pycnofibres would have looked ...
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Why did abiogenesis only happen once?

If the "primordial soup" theory of abiogenesis is to be believed, self-reproducing organisms spontaneously arose on Earth at least 3.5 billion years ago, surprisingly soon after the Earth cooled down ...
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Did humans evolve the ability to swim? Or is it just luck that we are able to swim?

Many animals like ducks have evolved features to be able to swim. Even not so aquatic animals like a tiger evolved so that its feet can act as paddles. In humans I don't see any direct feature that ...
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Is the suicide of a moribund individual to be considered group selection?

When a moribund individual commits suicide (e.g., Refardt, Bergmiller & Kummerli, 2013; http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/royprsb/280/1759/20123035.full.pdf), is this to be considered ...
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Is there any description about how microbes spread from a small place to a very large place?

Is there any materials (such as books, papers or others) about how microbes (such as the bacteria or virus) or a special kind of microbe spread from a small place to a very large area (such as the ...
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What is the difference between phyletic and phenotypic gradualism?

As I understand it, Phenotypic gradualism describes the development of new traits as a series of incremental steps. How is Phyletic gradualism different?
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Why does the sandalwood tree produce a fragrant oil?

Why do sandal trees produce fragrant oil? Is there any purpose for it? Is it to make it unpalatable for other herbivorous animals? If so, why do humans find the fragrance pleasing?
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What function does a mane serve in animals that possess it?

Horses, Donkeys, Antilopes and Bovines grow masses of hair on top (and sometimes below) the neck. What function does it serve? Is that to hinder predators biting?
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Evolution: Can the genotype frequencies change, but the allele frequencies remain constant?

If a population isn't evolving because it's in Hardy-Weinberg (HW) equilibrium, then I know that both genotype and allele frequencies must stay constant. My question is, can evolution still not occur ...
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What is the closest species to humans in animal kingdom?

I presumed chimpanzees were the closest relatives of us. However, after watching this TED Talk, it seems bonobos are closer to us both in skeleton and behavioral similarity than chimpanzees. I once ...
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What factors have led to selection for intelligence in crows and rooks?

The Corvidae family could include some of the smartest species after primates. What could be the factors that differentiate them from other species of birds that have determined their potential for ...
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When life first formed in earth's ocean, was it salty yet?

Do we have any tangible proof, e.g. by studying fossils of primitive life forms, that during their time the ocean was already salty, and at roughly similar levels to today's, or on the contrary, that ...
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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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The fraction of the genome that is evolutionarily conserved through purifying selection is less than 10%?

I would appreciate help in understanding the meaning, logic, and, in particular, how to interpret the phrase: The fraction of the genome that is evolutionarily conserved through purifying selection ...
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Why should evolution not be equated with progress?

My science textbook says this: Evolution should not be equated with progress. In fact, there is no real 'progress' in the idea of evolution. Evolution is simply the generation of diversity and the ...
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Do mitochondria have pili and can they do horizontal gene transfer

I was recently thinking about the similarities of mitochondria to prokaryotes. Since mitochondria (according to the endosymbiotic theory) derived from prokaryote species before they became part of ...
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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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Many spermatozoa, but just one ovulum

Why do men produce so much spermatozoa, that will get discarded, but women, just one ovulum, which is a good one. Couldn't men produce good spermatozoa as a limited edition? Where is the evolutionary ...
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Is natural selection actually random?

In the Theory of Evolution, two main factors take place: One is random, which are the different mutations that organisms' DNA suffer. This process adds genetic variability to a given population. The ...
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Why is selection less effective in small populations than in larger?

I can understand that the genetic drift has a higher impact on smaller populations, but what does it mean for the selection to be less effective in small populations than higher?
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General time reversible model of evolution and Felsenstein model

I would like to get suggestions for the books related to General time reversible model of evolution and Felsenstein model etc. Specifically the mathematical treatment of these topics and concepts ...
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Tree-pest coevolution

Many trees first reproduce decades after germination. Many pests of trees reproduce in under a year. It would seem that the pests have an advantage in the evolutionary arms-race, as they can evolve ...
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Why is venom more common in fish and snakes than other vertebrates?

Reading this question, I wondered why is it that we associate vertebrate venoms so often with snakes and fish, and more rarely with lizards, amphibians, mammals, and birds (apparently never, in birds?)...
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Study case of the inheritance system of Oenothera

I've been told some interesting facts about oenothera. Apparently in this species some lineages have been through some translocations and in results to these translocations and in consequence, some ...
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How is knowledge about farming transfered between generations in farming ants

There are some varieties of ants capable of "agriculture", e.g. dairing ants farming aphids and leaf-cutting ants farming fungus. How is the knowledge about the techniques involved passed ...
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It is possible that for an immortal species to arise via biological evolution?

It is possible that for an immortal species to arise via biological evolution? In biological evolution, living organisms continues to change. However, is there a point wherein evolution stops due to ...
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$F_{ST}$ when considering a multi-allelic locus

Sewall Wright defined the $F_{ST}$ in a metapopulation as being: $$F_{ST} = \frac{\text{Var}(p)}{\bar p (1-\bar p)}$$ , where $p$ is a vector of frequencies of a given allele and $\bar p$ and $\text{...
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How does sleep prevent our eyes from drying out?

If we don't sleep for about 16 hours, our eyes start to get dry, and no amount of eye drops helps. You use eye drops and then you're dry 10 minutes later. However, after you've slept for 8 hours, your ...
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Examples of species whose extinct common ancestor is well documented?

If we follow the ascendence line of two closely related species we can build a "Theoretical" common ancestor, whose characteristics were inherited with few differences by the offspring. <...
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Why largest cats so much larger than canids?

It is striking to me that there is no dog-like creature larger than a wolf while there are at least two species, tigers and lions, many (at least twice and probably 3 or 4) times the size of the ...
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Why do we anthromorphize evolution and genes and nature?

Books sometimes says things "Our genes want us to have as many children as possible", or "Evolution wants the fittest to survive". But genes are not conscious entities who can want ...
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Are there real world examples of one way isolation between two populations?

I know that for two populations A and B, there are situations in which there is a two way exchange of individuals between the populations, and there are situations in which there is no exchange of ...
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Is it possible for a invertebrate to evolve features like that of a vertebrate or BECOME a being similar to that of a vertebrate? [closed]

Could a invertebrate, for this lets say, a centipede/millipede, evolve into something like that of Pikaia? or something similar? Just an invertebrate turning into something similar or what would look ...
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Is evolution the reason why water is colourless for our eyes?

Liquid water is transparent to most of the visible spectra, whereas it absorbs infrared. Similarly, the air is almost transparent to the visible spectra too. Could these be the reasons why our eyes ...
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Why is the coremata of Creatonotos gangis huge?

This Australian moth has been some kind of curse image online due to its scent organs (coremata). It is inflated to attract mates. However, why does the coremata have to be inflated for it to work, ...
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Do viruses pickup new genetic sequences from the host cell?

Virus replication does not involve meiosis so the virus genome does not gain diversity from having two parents , so other than from mutation, do viruses obtain new genetic sequences from the host cell ...
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Are there animals that have evolved a resistance to human activity or encroachment?

There are countless sources, both peer-reviewed and popular, explaining how overuse and misuse of antibiotics is breeding a new generation of antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" such as MRSA (Methicillin-...
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Does epigenetics suggest there is at least some element of truth to Lamarckism?

I am not a biologist. But googling "epigenetics lamarck", I find many different opinions: For: Lamarck rises from his grave, Epigenetics: Lamarck’s Revenge?, Darwin’s theory ... is incomplete without ...
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Why is cannibalism not an evolutionary stable situation?

In the 'the selfish gene' Dawkins writes (page 109): "The reason lions do not hunt lions is that it would not be an ESS (evolutionary stable situation) for them to do so. A cannibal strategy would be ...
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mircro evolution in human

I know that microevolution has been experemnted on Lizards https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2008/04/lizard-evolution-island-darwin/ it is clear that creatures evolve with new environment ...
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Cell division in primordial eucaryotes

The evolution of eucaryotic cells is usually described as an event wherein one procaryote engulfed another probably smaller procaryote and rather than the engulfed procaryote being taken apart the two ...

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