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 tip of the temporal lobe the “top” of the brain neural tube?

The neural tube that forms the central nervous system forms around a cavity that becomes the ventricular system. Is the end of the lateral ventricles in the temporal lobe the top of this original ...
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How do we determine the common ancestor of a species? [closed]

I have seen a lot of articles about common ancestors. But I didn't find any perfect articles that said about the evidence of common ancestor.
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Are there any medical treatments which no longer work because humans have evolved?

(Not sure if this should be on the medicine SE) There've been plenty of medicines that no longer work because the target pathogen has evolved resistance, e.g. penicillin is no longer an effective ...
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The Perfect Predator? [closed]

I’m not a biology major or even studying it in any way so I apologize if this makes no sense. I’m curious, if say the Jurassic Park team came up to you and asked you to genetically engineer the ...
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What is the meaning of 'primary' and 'secondary' sympatric speciation in this paper?

Sympatric Speciation in the Genomic Era. Both terms are used throughout the paper. I'm not able to make sense of these terms in the contexts used. I've also heard the terms 'primary' and 'secondary' ...
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Is it likely that humans will evolve to be less affected by dangerous food additives or tobacco smoking chemicals?

I recently had a discussion with a few colleagues about food additives and there were two major "arguments" about how some of these affect the human body in the long term: some food ...
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Do humans have any biological adaptations to eating cooked food?

Humans have been cooking food for at least tens of thousands of years. The presumed reason why cooking took root in nearly all human cultures is that cooked food is easier to digest. However, cooking ...
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Does a critical mass of infected individuals exist after which mutations will overtake vaccination attempts?

As we know, all organisms have a probability to undergo mutations when they replicate. For every infected individual with the Covid-19 their bodies are environments in which the SARS-CoV-2 may mutate ...
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Evolution at a glacial pace: how does it work? [duplicate]

Some trees are very long-lived, such as the Great Basin Bristlecone Pine and the Giant Sequoia (up to 4,800 years old). How does natural selection and evolution affect such long-lived organisms? ...
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Does the radula sac in any mollusc serve a purpose other than sheathing the radula?

According to Barne Gat Shellfish: When not feeding the radula is retracted into this chamber which protects the mouth from the sharp teeth of the radula. Does the radula sac serve any other purpose?
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Is it plausible that strict lockdowns made it more likely for the new variant of COVID to have emerged?

My idea is that strict lockdowns put greater evolutionary pressure on the coronavirus by restricting oppurtunities to be transmitted, meaning that a faster-spreading variant had much less competition. ...
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Why mammals don't have renal portal system

I am a high school student and I am a little confused why mammals don't have renal portal system?, some books says that because we have four chambered heart, so our blood is filtered more effectively ...
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Why does the DNA of Bacillus subtilis not contain DNA families of 20-37 members?

I am reading the book "Molecular biology of the Cell, 6th edition" and in chapter one page 18 the following figure is included I am presuming this figure represents all genes within the ...
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What is neutral theory of evolution?

The question is not about the very basics, but more about where the line separating the neutral theory from the rest of population genetics lies. One often reads/hears claims that "the findings ...
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Did snow leopards loose the ability to roar or never have it?

Since snow leopards are the only species in the genus Panthera that can't roar, was this something the others developed after snow leopards diverged or something that snow leopards lost?
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Did mammals evolve from something with eusociality?

Eusociality (from Greek εὖ eu "good" and social), the highest level of organization of sociality, is defined by the following characteristics: cooperative brood care (including care of ...
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Why do apes still exist? [closed]

If we are evolved from apes, why don't all ape evolve and become human. Or Why the today's ape stop evolving to become a human?
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Why would hawk moths evolve long tongues for Darwin's Star Orchid when there are other flowers around?

Why would hawk moth evolve long tongues for Darwin's Star Orchid when there are other flowers around? Also isn't it counter productive for some flower to evolve a long nectar tube as this would shift ...
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Why is the spinal cord shortened in some vertebrates (cauda equina) but not in others?

Hodos, 2009, mentions that the "spinal cord tail" that humans have is not present in most vertebrates. This page mentions cauda equina is not present early on in human embryonic development, ...
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Why did ants and meliponine bees lose their sting? What's the evolutionary advantage in it? [closed]

We know Aculeata is the Hymenoptera’s lineage where the ovipositor evolved into a venomous sting. However, most ants have lost this sting, as well as meliponine and some other bees. Kerr & Lello (...
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What did (domestic) cats evolve from?

I have received this question during a recent discussion about pet birds and cats. We know that birds evolved from the dinosaurs before the mass extinction that happened about 66 million years ago. ...
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How come only a handful of animals can do photosynthesis?

As far as I understand, all the energy that living beings rely on comes from the sun. It's processed by plants in photosynthesis. These plants are consumed by herbivores, which in turn are consumed by ...
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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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