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 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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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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Is there any evidence for sperm parameters being connected to fitness of the offspring produced by that sperm?

In most (if not all) sexually procreating species the amount of offsprings a male can produce is limited not by the amount of sperm he can produce, but by the amount of eggs his sperm can fertilize (...
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Is there any evolutionary reason why male traits appear in the heterogametic sex and female traits in the homogametic sex?

If you define male as the heterogametic sex, and female as the homogametic sex, then my question sounds like a tautology. But, what I'm trying to get at is why is it that the traits we associate with &...
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Is artificial selection a mechanism of evolution?

From whatever I read have seen that the mechanisms of evolution are natural selection mutation genetic drift, and gene flow But artificial selection is often taught like a separate subtopic, but ...
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How is the recipient's probability of survival calculated in Hamilton's Rule?

This is Question 99 from the 2012 USABO Semifinals Exam: Assuming that "snonting" is an altruistic behavior that is maintained due to kin selection, consider the following situation: A ...
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The Fish-Tetrapod Transition, evolution of the “elbow” in Stem Tetrapods

The Acanthostega and Tulerpeton limbs seem to form "elbows" in an axis perpendicular to the flexor and extensor plane of the fin. They seem to "flex" their "elbow" ...
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When telomere length is measured, is the method performed on a collection of cells yielding an average?

What are the methods used in measuring telomeres in human or animal subjects? Can it be done on an individual cell? Has the following concern been raised and addressed before: What if there exists a ...
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Homology of front limb and hind limb in Eusthenopteron, femur homologous with ulna?

Homology by ontogeny is a topic where debates happen every now and then. The talus for example, from tibiale, intermedium, centrale, or a combination of those. Also, the homology between the zeugopod ...
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Sprawling locomotion, are knee/elbow joints perpendicular to erect locomotion?

The first terrestrial animals used sprawling locomotion. Is the knee and elbow jointed perpendicular to the joints in erect locomotion? It is easy to assume so, based on how the limbs move in ...
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How have humans adapted to the decrease in binding affinity of haemoglobin?

I am writing an article based on human adaptation and I would like to know how humans have adapted to a decrease in the binding affinity of haemoglobin, more like how have humans evolved with this ...
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Book recommendations for algorithms used in evolutionary biology

Do you have recommendations for a book that presents the different algorithm used in theoretical evolutionary biology? I don't mean evolutionary or genetic algorithms (otherwise this question would ...
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Are there any examples of sudden leaps in evolution?

As far as I understand, various abilities like flying, sight, hearing etc. were caused by slow evolution, where those with a greater ability to to these things had better chance of survival. (If this ...
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About what percent of mutations are not adaptive?

Many popular texts that discuss evolution and natural selection often mention that many (or most) mutations are bad (not adaptive). Have there been any studies on what the rough percentages are? (E.g....
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How can we estimate how many generations have passed between two individuals?

I am taking a course in Bio Informatics, but my biology knowledge is pretty limited. So a question raised for me. Let's suppose we have a pair of aligned sequences, how can we estimate how many ...
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Why does the Vas Deferens detour over the pubic bone?

I was surprised to learn that the vas deferens detours over the pubic bone instead of taking the obviously more direct path. https://human.biodigital.com/widget?be=u1P&uaid=1ly5V Because I would ...
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If sexuality is genetic, how did asexuality evolve?

If sexuality is genetic, then it stands to reason that evolution would strongly favor people who have children. In other words, heterosexuality & bisexuality should be favored, while homosexuality ...
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Hardy Weinberg equilibrium problem with no heterozygous mating [closed]

In a diploid population of A1A1, A1A2, A2A2, the A-locus was initially in H-W equilibrium. Due to certain changes in the mate choice pattern, heterozygotes completely stopped mating with each other (i....
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is there a discontinuity after the Cambrian period?

im not a biologist, just a big fan of biology and sorry if it sounds too dumb if the Cambrian period is the proof that Darwin's theory of evolution is wrong (stephen meyer claims this, and offer an ...
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How many times did photosynthesis evolve?

Was it a 1 and done thing? Plants seem to have developed photosynthesis by the endosymbiosis of cyanobacteria. Is the latter the one time in Earth's history that the process independently came about? ...
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Is there anything wrong with this objection to evolution? [closed]

My friend's argument against evolution goes like this: It is extremely unlikely that life as we know it evolved from a random mutation process because every organism is like a machine, in that one &...
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Evolution, self organization and neuroscience

I have rudimentary knowledge of evolution, and biology in general, so bear with me if this question is a bit naive. Let's say we have a particular trait, like highly sensitive peripheral vision. ...
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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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How does the modern theory of evolution solve these apparent problems? [closed]

I hold to the truth of Evolution, but I've encountered several problems with it, that I can't answer, and I can't find an answer for, despite much research. If would be great if anyone can answer ...
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Could a mutation on neutral part of genome become deleterious?

I know that silent mutations are neutral because they dont affect function of the protein/gene, and a missense mutation would. But lets say both occur on a neutral portion, could one or the other ...
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What keeps mitochondria from multiplying out of control?

What keeps mitochondria from multiplying out of control and killing the cell? According to endosymbiotic theory, mitochondria were once free-living bacteria that got ingested but not metabolized by ...
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Which fish did modern tetrapods descend from?

Did modern tetrapods descend from Tiktaalik or Ichthyostega? While I understand that in terms of all tetrapods, the lineages of Tiktaalik and Ichthyostega both would be included, but I want to know if ...
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Reproduction in animals

Humans have acquired knowledge about their environment through many observations. Today, humans have wide variety of resources to gain knowledge about reproduction in human beings and other ...
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Why are some organisms able to regenerate?

Why can sponges, cnidarian polyps and planaria regenerate if broken up, but other animals e.g. humans and phylum chordata cannot?
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What terrestrial Gastropod (specifically snails) has the fastest reproductive rate?

I am looking to do a series of experiments to test the adaptation of snails to different environments (Controlled environments in a lab setting. No organisms would be released into the wild under any ...
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Will all bacteria become resistant against all antibiotics in the long term?

(I asked the same at medicalsciences beta, but I expect a quite different perspective on it here) This is about bacteria that can infect humans, and their multi-resistance. The evolution of bacteria ...
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How did Rna replicate according to Rna World Hypothesis?

I was studying Rna World Hypothesis in Khan Academy, and there is a line..... The RNA world hypothesis suggests that life on Earth began with a simple RNA molecule that could copy itself without help ...
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Why is this the equation for the fitness of cooperators?

This paper gives the equations as: The fitness of cooperators and defectors is respectively given by fC = b(i − 1)/(N − 1) − c and fD = bi/(N − 1). c - cost b - benefit i - number of cooperators N - ...
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What is the definition of gene, genotype and phenotype, pre and post DNA?

i know that the definition of gene is a unit of heredity, also a sequence of nucleotides in DNA that gets copied to RNA and then proteins. Genotype is the genetic composition of an individual ...
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Has the human capacity to heal from burns evolved due to actual burns throughout human history?

I just burned myself while cooking, and it occurs to me that although this has happened countless times, my skin always heals itself rather well after burns. In this post I make various assumptions/...
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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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How did migrations evolve?

Disclaimer: I know nearly nothing about biology. I was wondering how did the migratory behaviour of birds evolve. Assuming that evolution/natural selection works slowly and gradually (at least most of ...
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What is the evolutionary advantage of breathing and heart beats syncing between partners?

I recently read that partners who are close to one another usually when touching have their heart beats and breathing in sync. Why does this occur? What is the benefit of it occurring? How does this ...
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What is the common ancestor of humans and trilobites?

I have always been immensely fascinated by trilobites. What is the single common ancestor of humans and trilobites? Do we know? Do we have a name for it? Have we identified it?
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Question relating to gradualism

Is phyletic gradualism and gradualism essentially the same thing I just saw the term phyletic gradualism and I was wondering
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Evolution of dominance of alleles

Can someone tell me where can I find detailed text about mechanisms of evolution of dominance? Or, if it is possible, I would be grateful if someone will tell me about them here.
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Species that have evolved to be near identical? [closed]

Are there any species that are near identical in outward appearance but are separate species? When I say species I mean can’t interbreed.
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What is the biology behind human population dynamics?

A paradox: Human population growth looks a lot like a simple logistic growth pattern. But the simplest interpretation of logistic growth doesn't seem to fit. Is this peculiar to humans, or does it ...
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Why is the null hypothesis of trait evolution Brownian motion?

Many models of continuous trait evolution assume that traits evolve according to Brownian motion. What is the biological or physical basis for this choice? I realize there are models that do not ...
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Why do the two sexes have different reproductive costs and capabilities?

Is there an evolutionary explanation that shows why the reproductive costs are mostly on the female sex? And therefore, why do males can potentially have more offspring? Does that happen to create ...
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Is Panmixia very rare?

I'm reading the wikipidia page on Panmixia. Panmixia (or panmixis) means random mating. A panmictic population is one where all individuals are potential partners. This assumes that there are no ...
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Did the jackal (wild African dog) evolve independently or with some form of human domestication?

The jackal is a wild dog species in Africa that feeds on carrion, much like the hyena. Pop science, as it were, would make us believe every dog species emerged as a result of human domestication. Was ...
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What is the process of aging exactly? [closed]

Getting old Hello community, I have been thinking about age, and I thought that aging is the reverse of how a biological system is able to fix itself over time. Actually, some species actually are ...

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