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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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How plausible would it be for animals to normalize the birth of monozygotic twins in their reproductive cycles? [closed]

I'm currently trying to develop the world of a sci-fi story I'm working on, and a concept I've thought of adopting with the environment and characters is a common breeding system where identical twins ...
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96 views

What plants use the green spectrum? [closed]

What if the only light provided to a plant was from the green spectrum would plants adapt or starve?
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76 views

How is it possible for a new species to evolve? [closed]

Suppose a new species is created from a random mutation that happened during an instance of reproduction in an existing species. How can that new species survive and flourish if there only exists one ...
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Why some seeds are mucilaginous (chia, rucola)?

Why some seeds are mucilaginous (chia, rucola)? It is not obvious what kind of preferences that can bring to them. What is a role of mucilage in seeds cultivation? P.S. The cultivation in ...
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Was iron important for the first life on Earth?

Some ions or compounds are thought not to have become involved or important in the metabolism of living organisms until some time after certain mutations took place. For instance, early life is ...
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26 views

What are some features that do not make an individual better than others without this feature? [closed]

If a mutation occurs so that this allele gives a noticeable feature that is present in this individual but absent in every other individual and this feature is of no benefit or detriment to the ...
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135 views

Have skeletons of “failed” animals been found yet?

I don't know what the correct term for "failed animals" is, but I mean those animals which wheren't able to survive due to their "failed" evolution process. Because evolution, as we see it today, has ...
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Is there any evidence that supports glycolysis in mitochondria or chloroplasts?

Glycolysis is known to be a part of cellular metabolism undergone by both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells, whether under aerobic or anaerobic conditions. As the endosymbiotic theory states that ...
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218 views

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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Why do marmosets have claws when most primates don't? What is the structure of their hands like?

The majority of primates have really thick nails, though not as broad or flat as humans'. However, marmosets have 18 claws, and only their big toes have nails. What differences in evolutionary ...
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112 views

Why hasn't evolution gotten rid of the appendix yet?

A figure I have recently stumbled upon suggests that about 7% of the world population will, or have, had appendicitis in their lifetime. Cutting out the appendix was impossible until very recently. ...
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How are the wings of birds, pterosaurs and bats related to each other?

Homologous organs are organs which have same arrangements of bones, blood vessels and muscles with different functions, and analogous organs are those which have different arrangements of bones but ...
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449 views

Does Pasteur's experiment contradict an origin of life?

To my understanding, Pasteur’s experiment demonstrates that life is only made from life. If this is true, then how could origin of life (aka. abiogenesis) ever have happened? It seems to me that ...
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134 views

Evolution as a directed graph exploration?

First of all, I am not biologist, nor good in chemistry/physics. Secondly, I am really eager to understand. So I think of a "life" (of a certain whatever being) as a space of somewhat properties. ...
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153 views

When did the mammalian outer ear evolve?

All Eutheria and Metatheria have outer ears, and as far as I found out, monotremes once also had them, so they seem to be universal for mammals. Did other synapsids have them, too? I know that soft ...
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28 views

Is “Monophyly” context dependent?

I am thinking about this thought experiment: Suppose we have three taxa which are grouped into the following tree: {{A,B},C}, clearly {B,C} is a paraphyletic group. But if A go extinct in the near ...
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Are there examples of sexual selection effecting traits in both sexes equally?

I've had an ongoing interest in the evolution of human furlessness and this appears to be a notable example of attributing a trait that effects both sexes to sexual selection. Darwin suggested it was ...
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610 views

Are we “more evolved” than present-day bacteria?

The common ancestor of humans and modern bacteria was most likely a prehistoric bacterium. Does this mean that humans are "more evolved" than today's bacteria?
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The role of atomic theory in biology

Feynman writes, in his Lectures on Physics Vol. 1, Chapter 1: The most important hypothesis in all of biology, for example, is that everything that animals do, atoms do. In other words, * there is ...
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Has a mammalian species that cannot interbreed with another ever been selectively bred in isolation from it so that it can?

Take two mammalian species that cannot interbreed by any means. Has one ever been selectively bred in isolation from the other so that eventually it can?
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How has the theory of evolution changed over time?

I learned at school and in the documentaries like everybody that (to summarize) molluscs evolved into fishes then reptiles then mammals then humans. Does the theory still make the same claim ? or ...
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57 views

Why can we sniff so much?

What was the point for us humans (or other mammals) to develop such a strong sense of smell? Depending on the source, we can distingiush from 10.000 to even trillions of smells. But how was the ...
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205 views

Did Darwin explain why he believed that domestic dogs descend from several distinct species of ancestor?

Charles Darwin begins his book Origin of the Species (1859), in which he argues that species evolve as a result of variations caused by natural selection, with a chapter about variations that have ...
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212 views

Inbreeding vs Mutations

Small populations of organisms may be exposed to the dangers of inbreeding. But if a small population manages to survive for many thousands or millions of years, would mutations eventually diversify ...
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Polyploidy, or why plants of different species can produce fertile offspring hybrids more frequently than animals?

This site says: Plants hybridize much more frequently and successfully than animals do. [...] Chromosomal doubling (polyploidy) occurs more frequently in plants and facilitates the fertility of the ...
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154 views

Would current-day human-initiated panspermia be effective?

With current technology, we are able to easily send a probe to the Alpha Centauri star system at a speed of about 20 km/s (velocity of voyager probe), which means it would take about 65000 years to ...
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Why are monotremes so rare?

There are currently only five species of monotremes remaining, and all of them are found in Australia. Additionally, I read a science article claiming that competition from marsupials essentially ...
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46 views

ABO-antigen and winter vomiting disease

If the NON-SECRETOR phenotype of ABO-antigen is protective against winter vomiting disease, how come 80% of the European population and most of the population world-wide are SECRETORS?
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In what does Genetic clustering and Cline sharpness differ?

They are both ways to measure divergence in species but I'm not understanding in what exactly the differ if both use hybrid zones and gene frequencies in the study.
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71 views

Have some humans evolved to be less attractive to mosquitoes?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38gVZgE39K8 at 10:10 minutes in the video. It has been found out that single letter differences in people's genomes at specific locations have affected their ...
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What percentage of genome do slugs and scallops have in common?

We can know genetic distance of thousands of species. The OTT tree of life gives genetic distance for nearly all species. Is there a resource to compare the genomes of any sequenced animals to know ...
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2answers
196 views

What is the relationship between snails/slugs and clams/mussels?

Slugs and clams are both phyla in mollusca, but how can I tell which features they inherited from an ancestor? Basically, I'm curious about how excatly these organisms are related but can't find any ...
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Does imprinting occur at different life stages?

For example, consider the offspring of a bird species. Can offspring get imprinted by other individuals of the same population at various life stages (e.g., hatchling, nestling, fledgeling, juvenile)? ...
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Why do mitochondria have a phospholipid bilayer?

So, a thought came up and I couldn't find all that much info online, so I thought I'd ask some professionals here! The endosymbiont theory states that: mitochondria came to be ingested by bigger ...
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118 views

What Evidence Do We Have For the First Mammal?

Edited for a less broad question, I've retained my original question in the event anyone wants to try to answer it Narrowed down question According to evolution we should all share common ancestors, ...
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330 views

How to find out the when we had a common ancestor with a particular animal

For example, Jordan Peterson claims that human and lobsters have a common ancestor X million year ago. I wonder, how does he know it? I'd be so delighted to visit a website, where I could select two ...
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Carbohydrate diet and dental health

I read that human started carbohydrates rich diet after adopting agriculture before that meat was main energy source which has comparatively less carbohydrate. High carbohydrate started destroying ...
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78 views

book on human sexuality evolution

i am interested in Lynn Margulis' book Mystery Dance: On the Evolution of Human Sexuality. i don't find it in libraries and it's too old and i am too poor for paying 20 euros for a 1991 book. Does ...
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114 views

Why outgroups are supposed to be ancestral?

I was reading about phylogenies and found many literatures said that outgroups contain the ancestrial trait, but why is that? Aren't they also experiencing the same amount of evolutionary time and (...
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examples of transitional fossils showing development of internal skeleton

What fossils exist that show the development of skeletons, and muscles attached to bones?
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72 views

Why food is still tasty? [closed]

I'm not a biologist, but it seems that plants with disgusting taste have evolutionary advantage to tasty plants. Same about animals. There are some species that can not be eaten by man (sharks have ...
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115 views

How did humans know the process of domesticating animals?

If people in ancient times had no scientific knowledge about natural selection and Darwinism, how were they knowledgeable about animal domestication and artificial selection? What tools and ...
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2k views

Hardy-Weinberg sex linked formula

The "big five" assumptions are the ones listed in the main text. However, the basic formulation of Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium also relies on a few other assumptions; Allele and genotype frequencies ...
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116 views

How to give a biological interpretation to this phase portrait?

Consider the following system and analyze its behavior. $$\begin{array}{rl} \frac{dA}{dt} &= A \left( 2-\frac{A}{5000}-\frac{L}{100} \right)\\ \frac{dL}{dt} &= L \left(-\frac{1}{2}+\frac{...
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Would all the different species evolve to their respective next form of life eventually?

Would all the different species evolve to their respective next form of life eventually? Like this generation apes to humans in next million years? Or does all the different species exist to only ...
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1answer
47 views

What advantage do dogs have in clearly disclosing whether they are afraid or unafraid in a conflict?

Dogs are known to clearly show whether they are afraid or unafraid with the posture of their tails during a conflict. How and why is this beneficial? My limited understanding makes me feel that, in ...
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38 views

Telomere and evolution

Telomere wear down over time will resulting in a range of ailments, such as aging-from diabetes, hypertension, and cancer. Why evolution do not favor offspring with long telomere or produce the ...
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How did hydrophilic plants become established on an isolated island with an arid coastal zone?

I find unconvincing the existing explanation of how several hydrophilic endemic plants became established at St Helena. This is one of the most isolated islands in the world, has an arid semi-desert ...
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102 views

Practical Question about Evolution, Population Genetics and Speciation

North American cicada male of the genus Magicicada sing depending on the species at different times of the day and attract the females of the corresponding species. The species are very similar, but ...
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How much time does it take for an evolutionary change to take place?

I think I've read that in humans, it takes either 50,000 or 100,000 years for a mutation to fixate. But I've looked into the books I thought it mentioned it and I can't find it. I know there are ...