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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9
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381 views

What percentage of the genetic variance is explained by the 'n'- most important loci?

Introduction Standard models in population genetics look up at the evolution of few loci which impact fitness. The variance in fitness is determined by the genetic variance and the environmental ...
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Where does Darwin state his “principle of multiple utility”?

I have never heard of Darwin's 'principle of multiple utility', but several papers refer to it. For example, from Darwin at the molecular scale: selection and variance in electron tunnelling proteins ...
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Do animals have greater tendency to care for their opposite sex siblings due to mate competition among same sex siblings?

According to the gene-centered view of evolution, siblings have p=1/2 relatedness, thus having greater altruism between them than cousins or unrelated animals. For species with a conventional sex ...
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76 views

Inheritance percentiles

I am aware that the average DNA contribution from each grandparent is 25%, while the possible range is 0%-50%. I found a source citing 18%-32% as the "normal" range but this was undefined. I assume ...
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134 views

Evolutionary explanation of the bicuspid on the left and tricuspid on the right

The left heart handles more pressure and logically it would make sens to have a valve with three leafs on the left (If I had got to choose, I'd have put three on both sides). Other than being more ...
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154 views

Escaping resource limitations during tumor evolution

In their discussion of the importance of r- and K-selection on tumors, Aktipis et al. (2013; figure 3) provide the following illustration of a hypothetical cancer growth curve: In it, you can see ...
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57 views

Games with non-uniform interaction rates

Background: Many models in evolutionary game theory assume uniform interaction rates. For instance, consider the $2\times 2$ game: \begin{array}{l c c} & A & B \\ A & a & b \\ ...
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100 views

Why do naked mole rats live in colonies with a queen?

What was the evolutionary advantage in having queens? Is it because the ones that had queen like tendencies in the new environment had kids that cooperated better giving higher chance of survival of ...
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192 views

How does the population fitness change after a change in mutation rate?

The mean population fitness as given by mutation load theory depends only on the genome-wide mutation rate ($U$). My question is: How many generations is needed to reach a new mutation load ...
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178 views

At what rate do chromosomal rearrangements occur?

How often do chromosomal rearrangements occur? I am interested about these kind of chromosomal rearrangements that are passed on to the descendants, i.e. germ line chromosomal rearrangements. The ...
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46 views

Century old trees and evolution

We always think of natural selection as occurring at the level of populations not individuals. how about century old trees where germline is being produced from constantly dividing cells. Are all ...
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55 views

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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53 views

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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207 views

Were Neandertals as Hairy as We Are?

What I mean to say regards facial and androgenic hairs. There are many theories as to why some people have both kinds of hairs, while others have one or the same and others still have neither. The ...
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1k views

Mutation-Selection-Drift Equilibrium

mutation-selection-drift equilibrium is one of the most important concept of population genetics. I could easily find the calculations for mutation-secltion equilibrium and for mutation-drift ...
4
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1answer
547 views

How did the nucleus of eukaryotic cells evolve?

What is/are the most popular theory/theories on how the nucleus evolved? I know mitochondria came from alpha-proteobacteria, chloroplasts from cyanobacteria and that eukaryotes evolved directly from ...
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3answers
76 views

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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35 views

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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23 views

Narwhal tusk evolution

I was reading about whales and wondered why did only narwhals, among all other species of whales, evolve to have tusks? Is there a specific environmental reason, for example something unique about the ...
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45 views

Were there any terrestrial species in the ancestry of all crustaceans?

To the exception of woodlice, Crustaceans live in aquatic (marine or freshwater) environments. Crustaceans are arthropods which is an immensely diverse taxon. Many arthropods live in terrestrial ...
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270 views

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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54 views

Is there recent info about the hypothetical ancient two-codon genetic code?

Here is the latest I have found. link This is the basic idea: Evolution does not look ahead and make plans. It would not create a system of mRNA with giant ribosomes to create proteins, until ...
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144 views

Mammalian scales

Many small mammals have scaly skin on their tails and sometimes limbs. The examples can be found among rodents (rats, degu, scaly-tailed squirrels), insectivores (shrews, desmans), oppossums, musky ...
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71 views

Why are animal mitochondrial genomes so conserved and small in comparison to those of plants?

Background Levings and Brown (1989): Higher plant mitochondrial genomes are much larger and more complex than those of other organisms. They vary in size from about 200 kb in Brassica species ...
3
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1answer
253 views

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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57 views

First infection of malaria

As I know Plasmodium falciperum survive in either a host animal, human or mosquitoes. But how does malaria come to infect either of them initially? I am interested in knowing evolution of malaria. ...
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153 views

For which taxonomic levels are xylotomical, embryological, and palynological evidence each most useful in determining species relationships?

From the 2010 USABO Semi: In plant systematics, three lines of evidence may be useful in determining relationships; xylotomical (wood anatomy), embryological and palynological. Match these ...
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66 views

Why might the chirality of gastopods be dominantly dextral?

This wikipedia page on gastropods provides a definition of chirality, and briefly describes the genetic mechanisms behind why a shell is wound left (sinistral) or right (dextral) handed. It also ...
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251 views

Why does a broad-leaved evergreen (Mahonia aquifolium) has red leaves?

To my knowledge, oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium) is purportedly an evergreen shrub? Deciduous broadleaf plants lose their leaves in autumn usually and before that as the leaves die they oxidize and ...
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254 views

Derivation of discrete replicator dynamics

Related: Discrete vs Continuous Replicator Dynamics I am trying to perform a derivation of the discrete time replicator dynamics, but I am unable to get through Cressman's derivation in "Evolutionary ...
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114 views

What is the effective population size of a simple two deme metapopulation?

I am confused as to how to compute the effective population size $N_e$ of a theoretical structured population. Let's consider here a simple case study. Imagine a 2-deme metapopulation. Each deme is ...
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260 views

Population size and genetic drift - What are the evidences?

Wright-Fisher model From the Wright-Fisher model of genetic drift, the random sampling of allele from one generation to the next is taken from a binomial distribution with parameters $2N$ and $p$, ...
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114 views

Is $F_{ST}$ a probability and a correlation coefficient?

$F_{ST}$ is one of the most famous and most important statistics of all of evolutionary biology. Yet, many people misunderstand it or misuse the classical results from the literature on $F_{ST}$ (...
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181 views

What form of reproduction did the first land animals use?

What form of reproduction did the first animals on land use*? Were they hermaphrodites, or did they have male and female sexes? [Is there a proper term for sexual separation in a species?] Were any ...
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41 views

Wolbachia - cytoplasmic incompatibility

I read that cytoplasmic incompatibility in Wolbachia occurs when wolbachia-infected male insects mate with wolbachia-free female insects and produce non-viable offspring. By contrast, wolbachia-...
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178 views

Why does bacillus thuringiensis produce bt toxin?

Background : B.thuringiensis produces an inactive crystalline toxin during sporulation which when ingested by an insect, gets activated and causes pore formation in gut , subsequently leading to death ...
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179 views

How to understand relatedness in an infinite island model?

My understanding is that the relatedness coefficient in kin selection models measures positive assortment. That is, altruism is more likely to evolve if altruists tend to interact with other altruists....
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158 views

What are the common methods to estimate additive genetic variance?

Additive genetic variance can be estimated in a number of ways, and is a key concept in evolutionary biology and quantitative genetics. What are the typical methods (experimental designs) used to ...
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109 views

Understanding the meaning of $s$ and $t$ in a population genetics equation

Sewall Wright in this article (1937) at the end of page 313 gives the equation: $$\Delta q = (s+tq)q(1-q) \space\space\space\space\space\space\space\space\space(1)$$ This equation is an ...
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699 views

Does the Jungian notion of collective unconsciousness have any legitimacy in the light of modern neurobiology and epigenetics?

Carl Jung has long ago proposed a rather controversial notion of collective unconsciousness [1, 2, 3], a form of the unconscious (that part of the mind containing memories and impulses of which ...
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29 views

Evolutionary motivation behind number of neurons in DCMMP

I'm studying neuro-anatomy right now and I was surprised to learn that there are only three neurons along the Dorsal Column Medial Lemniscal Pathway (DMLP) which relays mechanical sensations from the ...
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$F_{ST}$ and the genetic variance in metapopulations

From this video (21'15''), the speaker gives the following formulae in order to calculate the between and among populations genetic variance from the $F_{ST}$: $$V_{Among Pop} = 2 F_{ST}V_G$$ $$V_{...
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163 views

Inbreeding Coefficient and Coefficient of Relationship

Wikipedia gives the following formula to calculate a "path of coefficient of relationship" between an ancestor $A$ and an offspring $O$: $$\rho_{AO} = 2^{-n} \left( \frac{1+f_A}{1+f_O} \right)^{1/2} =...
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1answer
492 views

Why were dinosaur skeletons so light compared to mammal skeletons?

I was watching a presentation by Dr. Jessica Theodor [1] who discusses (at 38:10), among other things, the skeletal structure of dinosaurs vs. mammals. "Dinosaurs have way lighter skeletons, which ...
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31 views

Shrinking size of Y chromosomes

I read on the web that the size of Y chromosomes decreased in earlier period of time and the picture below tells that it is still occurring. So basically I want to know what caused this shrinking and ...
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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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33 views

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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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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1answer
36 views

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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In what ways does the number of legs affect an animal's functioning?

After much research, I've only been able to find specific examples of leg-number's impact on locomotion and dexterity (and/or object manipulation). I feel as though there must be other ways it has a ...

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