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Questions tagged [natural-selection]

A mechanism of evolution that leads to non-random spread of genes due to the effect that genes have on reproductive success.

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What is the relationship between r/K strategy and filial infanticides?

In other words, is the frequency of killing one's own offspring among species dependent on their location on the r/K strategy spectrum?
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Genetic equilibrium in case of two phenotypes and three alleles with inbreeding and fitness taken in account

Suppose there is an organism with diploid genome. Gen $A$ is represented with three possible alleles $A_1$, $A_2$ and $A_3$. Dominance is complete and the dominance hierarchy of alleles is following: $...
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Why can't geese regurgitate food?

I saw this harrowing video on how barnacle goslings have to jump off very high cliffs because the parent's can't feed them. The death rate seems high. Why did natural selection come to favor jumping ...
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Discrete vs Continuous Replicator Dynamics

The replicator eqn in the case of discrete non-overlapping generations and asexual reproduction is given by the discrete replicator eqn: $$x_i(t+1) = x_i (t)\frac{f_i(t)}{\bar f (t)}$$ where $x_i$ is ...
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Balancing selection vs introgression?

Balancing selection can maintain polymorphisms in natural populations for extended periods of evolutionary time. However, in this paper, Dannemann et al. 2016 identify three archaic haplotypes in the ...
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Why would low complexity regions be linked with relaxed selection?

I'm reading a text (Wagner, 2007) on identifying positive selection. In the paper, the author says that low complexity regions are known to be associated with the relaxed selection. I'm trying to ...
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4answers
107 views

Is variation a result of Evolution?

We know that the DNA copying mechanism that replicates DNA during cellular division is not 100% accurate and the resultant errors are the source of variation in the members of a population. At the ...
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Sharks, alligators and Gould's “random walk” theory

I was thinking about Stephen Jay Gould's view on evolution as pure "random walk" / Drunkard's Walk, increasing or decreasing complexity in basically random fashion, just limited by death if an ...
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Are there any evolutionary reasons for the different tree shapes? If so, What are they?

So we know there are a thousand types of trees with different shapes. We have Columnar shaped trees: Pyramidal or Conical shaped trees: Weeping shaped trees: And we also have Round, Vased, Open-...
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1answer
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Exact terminology of natural selection

You don't need to explain to me what the theory of evolution is, or how it works. This question is purely about what exact meaning the word "natural selection" is ascribed to. There seem to be ...
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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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Do Traits Have to be Adaptive in Order to Survive?

I'm reading Michael Pollan's book 'How to Change Your Mind', which is largely about psychedelic mushrooms. In discussing the biology of the mushrooms, he writes: 'Even if psilocybin in mushrooms ...
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Evolution of the haplo-diplontic life cycle

From wikipedia > Biological Life Cycle: haplontic life cycle - the haploid stage is multicellular and the diploid stage is a single cell, meiosis is "zygotic". diplontic life cycle - the diploid ...
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1answer
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What problem does the Dobzhansky-Muller Model resolve?

This page describes the Dobzhansky-Muller model and I can follow the illustration of the split leading to incompatible hybrids. But at the start of the page the author states "[Dobzhansky and Muller] ...
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1answer
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Can Females Songbirds Have Male Plumage?

Male birds are colorful for courtship displays, females are dull for camouflage. But, is written in a website somewhere that sometimes, when females birds are sterile, they grow male plumage due to ...
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What is the probability of fixation for a mutant under fluctuating selection?

Here is an answer which explains how one can model the frequency of an allele that is under fluctuating selection (the selection that varies through time). Not, thinking about fluctuating selection, ...
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1answer
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Why haven't modern grass based crops overrun wild grasses?

Modern grass based crops are significantly superior to wild grasses, they grow faster, are stronger stemmed, have larger leaves and higher seed yields in terms of individual seed size, giving ...
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Increase rate of change in coding regions?

If a sequence is under selection will it acquire more changes over time because of faster fixation than if changes were neutral? Is this true or am I missing something?
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How does better sperm result in more viable offspring?

Quoting wikipedia: Greater choice and variety of mates increases a female's chance to produce more viable offspring. This led me to the question: "How sperm parameters are connected with entity ...
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Why do many people seem to prefer unhealthy compared to healthy foods?

I don't have any concrete statistics on this but many of us seem to love the taste of food that is unhealthy for us. Over the centuries, wouldn't it have been a non negligible advantage to those who ...
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6answers
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Why are there species instead of a continuum of various animals?

As I understand it, various animal traits have to evolve gradually, but what happens to the species that are "neither here nor there"? To put it differently, if a species evolved from another, it did ...
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What is the definition of “Natural Selection”?

Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype. Natural selection, a process that results in the adaptation of an organism to its ...
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3answers
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What is meant by `individuals do not evolve, populations do`?

My university professor stated that "individuals do not evolve, populations do". But aren't populations made up of individuals? That's like saying when a compound changes in stability, none of the ...
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5answers
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How does Darwinian Evolution work?

Let me explain... A friend and I read some articles, part of a Biology book, and watched a video on evolution. We then tried to explain what Evolution is to each other. My friend said that Natural ...
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2answers
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Are Males the main evolutionary tool for production of genetic variation necessary for evolution?

What I'm saying here is just a personal reflection, that might turn to be gravely erroneous, actually I'm asking that because I didn't see it presented elsewhere. Evolution is propelled by two ...
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Is there a biological mechanism for evolution encoded into our DNA?

Throughout high school, I remember learning about Darwin's theory of evolution as if it were near-fact. But something always seemed wrong about the ideas presented. Survival of the fittest Random ...
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How is “selection” best defined?

There is natural selection but there is also sexual selection which some regard as a category of natural selection. There is also artificial selection (by humans). The question is, what is a most ...
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Is this model of understanding of what's natural selection and what's not, correct? [closed]

Here in this account I just want to make sure, that I've grasped the concept of natural selection as is usually spoken by evolutionary biologists, truly the wording here are non standard and in some ...
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Why do some bad traits evolve, and good ones don't?

If a trait would be advantageous to an organism then why hasn't it evolved yet? Conversely, if a trait is not advantageous or mildly disadvantageous, why does it exist? In other words why does ...
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Is Mutation Theory still “valid” for complex organisms?

I'm afraid like most people I suffer from having learned "A History of Evolution" in school, rather than cutting to the chase and learning the actual "up to date" version of the subject. (Imagine if ...
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3answers
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Are inadvertent environmental catastrophes also examples of natural selection?

I just want to understand the concept of natural selection and its relation to evolution. Evolution by natural selection occurs when we have hereditary trait(s) that causes an effect on reproduction ...
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1answer
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How does natural selection explain how organisms that are poisonous evolved?

Natural selection makes perfect sense when describing the evolution of say camouflage. For example 2 bugs of the same species live on a tree. One is mutated to look slightly more like a tree, so the ...
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1answer
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Animal with “advantageous” trait in a environment where the trait is never utilized (high cold tolerance in mild climate) - natural selection occur?

If you were to put an animal with a certain type of seemingly advantageous "trait" into an environment where the trait was not necessarily needed, ex: Putting an animal with a high tolerance for cold ...
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What are the advantages of sexual reproduction over asexual reproduction? [closed]

What are the advantages of sexual reproduction over asexual reproduction? How does variation influence ecological and evolutionary success?
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Does natural selection select for randomness in development?

In a podcast with Sean Carroll and Liv Boeree they discuss a result from game theory that the optimal strategy in the face of incomplete information can require random decision making. For example, ...
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Finding intensity of selection against dominant homozygotes

I was looking at some Olympiad questions and came across the following: If the frequency of a completely recessive allele is $0.2$ and it remains unchanged from generation to generation due to ...
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1answer
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Ways creatures evolove [closed]

I can't find the right answers to my questions online . are there other ways creatures evolove apart form nsatural selection? Thank you
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3answers
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You need DNA to make RNA, and RNA to make DNA, so they had to come into existence at the same time?

A statement I recently read: 'Evolution is debunked and gives no basis for morality. Natural Selection throws away info, it does not add. You need DNA to make RNA, and RNA to make DNA, so they had to ...
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Does consistency in minor allele frequency of a SNP across populations imply selection?

If a particular SNP has very similar MAF value across multiple largely non-overlapping populations, with the assumption of no gene flow between the populations over many generations, would that then ...
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2answers
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Finding for evolution, comparing past flower numbers with present

In a hypothetical species of butterfly, wing spots are controlled by a single locus where BB individuals have blue spots, YY individuals have yellow spots, and BY individuals have green spots. Ten ...
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Why has grey hair evolved?

A vast majority of humans get at least some grey hair as they age. As far as I know this applies to both genders and all races. Presumably this means that at least some grey haired humans have ...
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Did Darwin ever reach the conclusion that selection will remove variation?

According to simple models of selection the genetic variance in a population should be reduced by selection. (Fisher's fundamental theorem states that the rate at which a population can evolve is ...
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Book on the history of Darwin's discoveries and development of his theory

This question is a book request. I am wondering if there are any books with these elements: Tells the history of Darwin's discoveries. Captures Darwin's changing views of the origins of species, ...
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1answer
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Cell-level selection and inheritance of acquired mutations

I was reading about different levels of selection in Ridley's Evolution textbook (chapter on units of evolution) and saw that some organisms e.g. carrots are not Weismannist i.e. don't have separate ...
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Is it possible to calculate the evolutionary response to nonlinear selection gradient as a change in variance of phenotypes?

I often see the breeders equation written like this: $R = h^2s = \frac{V_a}{V_z}s = V_a\beta$ or $\Delta \bar z = G\beta$ But is it possible to get something like this: $\Delta \sigma_z = G\...
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Why do heterozygous individuals have increased resistance to malaria?

I am aware that there is such a thing called heterozygous advantage, which is due to the presence of a certain single allele, and that an example of this could be with "sickle-cell anemia". I am ...
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1answer
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Have scientists ever produce a new species in laboratory by means of natural selection?

I was wondering, if scientists ever produce a more complex species from a less complex species by means of natural selection? I imagine something like, bacteria which can't photosynthesis and oxygen (...
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Do beneficial viruses exist? If so, what examples are there?

Typically, people call viruses some kind of organic compounds that cannot reproduce autonomously and which lower the fitness of their hosts. Even the word "virus" means "venom" in Latin. But from the ...
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What to call a trait that has current utility but unclear evolutionary origin?

I'm looking for a commonly used term to describe a trait that has clear current utility but an evolutionary origin that is uncertain and that we do not necessarily wish to emphasize in our description ...
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Killing more attractive mates — intersexual selection strategy? [closed]

Is this the affinity or core part of intersexual selection (males fighting for access to females)? If females are bound to flock to objectively more attractive man 'A' in the majority of cases, would ...