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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Can vaccines drive viruses to evolve? If so, how?

Obviously, destroying vaccine-vulnerable strains of a virus will leave the vaccine-resistant ones to represent an increased fraction of the overall viral population. I'm asking, though, whether/how ...
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Is there evidence that most genetic mutations occur spontaneously? [duplicate]

In evolution theory it is supposed that changes in organisms are caused by random mutations of genes. Is there evidence for this? Can' t genes change non-random, that is, directed by the organism as a ...
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Can the gene be considered altruistic in the organism-centered view on evolution? [closed]

In Dawkins' gene-centered view on evolution the gene is (metaphorically) considered selfish. Can we say that in an organism-based view the gene can be considered altruistic (metaphorically)?
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Can't we say that genes (and memes) are altruistic in principle, contrary to Dawkins' selfish genes (and memes)? [duplicate]

Dawkins' reductionistic view on evolution (as described in "The Selfish Gene" and subsequent books with different titles and covers but the same content) views genes as selfish and all ...
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When does a virus become a different species?

Related: When does one decide to refer to a virus as a new variant? I've been thinking about all the news related to "variants" of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including the infamous "Delta ...
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Kleiber's law and Bergmann's rule

I was researching that deep-sea animals are much larger than their close relatives in the upper ocean (gigantism), and from what I've seen, this is due to two rules: Kleiber's law and Bergmann's rule. ...
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Why is interspecific competition potent force for organic evolution why not intraspecific competition? [closed]

If their is intraspecific competition then there some members of the species who have better features will survive betterand latter ,branchial decent will happen but then how interspecific competition ...
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Are there mammalian species in which the male makes no contribution after coitus?

It seems that live bearing is very high cost relative to egg laying. Therefore, I would expect that in a live bearing species the male would always have a post coital role. Is this the case?
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Resource recommendation: a good book explaining and evaluating the evidence for evolution?

I take a great interest in the intersection between science and religion and evolution is therefore something I often read about. Many of the critics of evolution like to poke "scientific" ...
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Is the principle of “the least energy” a fundamental principle of evolution? How does it stand with the rule “the one who replicate the most”?

The principle of "least energy" seems to be a fundamental law of the universe (is it?). I probably use the wrong word. I'm just talking about the reason why electrons are filling first the ...
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Toxoplasma gondii

Very widespread. It infects most mammals but can only reproduce in a cat. Sapolsky indicated that an infected mouse has less aversion to cat urine than an uninfected mouse. So lessening aversion ...
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Are there some natural instances of thermosensitizer?

Let's define thermosensitizer as any chemical or biological agent that can sensitize the cells to heat. In lab setting, thermosensitization seems to be achievable, such as by inhibiting chaperone ...
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Do mutations that cause the loss of a complex trait occur more often than mutations causing gain of a complex traits?

The Wiki entry on the evolution of biological complexity states that "[m]utations causing loss of a complex trait occur more often than mutations causing gain of a complex trait". There is ...
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At what point in evolution is a new species identified? [duplicate]

As we know, a change in allelic frequency leads to evolution, and as these changes accumulate a new species is created. My question has two parts - A classical definition of species which is now not ...
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What were the three dinosaur evolutions and do they imply that bipedalism could have evolved multiple times in hominins?

At this pop-sci article transcribing an interview with Jeremy DeSilva, they state: "If we’ve learned anything about evolutionary trends, it’s that good ideas evolve over and over again. For ...
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How did Aposematism evolve?

Disclaimer: I know nearly nothing about biology. My understanding is that camouflage evolved gradually with individuals that looked more like their environment even slightly being less likely to be ...
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If we evolve from microbes then why so many microbes are still here? [closed]

Researchers say that we evolve from microbes then why there are still so many microbes ?
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What's the most recent common ancestor of reptiles and humans?

In the Phylogeny of humans and reptiles, what is/are some of the most recent common ancestors?
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Understanding the paper “Why war is a man's game”

I have read this article https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspb.2018.0975 but I don't understand the mathematics which tries to explain why war is male-exclusive. In which branch of ...
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Were the Francevillian biota real?

The announced discovery of macrofossils suggestive of large multicellular organisms 2.1 Ga ago is now over ten years old. Is there by now a scientific consensus whether these constitute real fossils ...
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How is the possibility of beneficial mutations ensured in the genome?

To ensure natural selection and variability, the genome must have a structure in which the occurrence of beneficial mutations has a high enough probability. But how is this ensured? The space of ...
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higher-order evolutionary adaptations

Most adaptations are what I'd call first-order. Cats evolve better eyesight; redwoods evolve to grow taller; male cardinals evolve attractive bright feathers. All of these changes were selected for ...
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Reasons for the existence of symporters and antiporters

I'm wondering what is an evolutionary adaptation to the evolution of symporters and antiporters instead of just uniporters. Antiporters might help preserve electrical neutrality by pumping in/out an ...
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Are dark skinned natives of Central America dark skinned due to the same genes as people of African heritage?

I'm trying to understand how strong the evolutionary pressure on genes for skin color happens to be. Was it fast enough that the humans that migrated through the Bering Strait had lighter skin color ...
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Do sharks possess a more hydrodynamical shape than dolphins? [closed]

I do not study biology at all. Is it known if sharks who evolved over milion of years have more hydrodynamical shape than say e.g. dolphins who evolved for much shorter time. It probably depends on ...
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Visualizing selection's effect on a population with a fitness landscape in R

I'm trying to write a script to demonstrate the effect of selection in a population. The problem that I have is that it is not realistic in the sense that not only the mean would change for ...
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What are evolutionary reasons for humans' limited regeneration abilities? [duplicate]

As far as I understand (I am not a biologist), a ability of a species arises during the evolution if: It increases reproduction chances It is not too energy expensive It is physically possible At ...
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Are SNPs or SSR copy number variation mutations more prominent?

I'm trying to get a sense of the dominant way that mutations occur. I have seen various numbers which seem at least at first glance to conflict, and I was curious if anyone had clarification on this. ...
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Does mitochondrial eve have to exist?

Suppose we took all living humans and found the set of their mothers, mothers' mothers, etc. and then traced down as far as possible. Is there a logical reason that this tree has to converge to one '...
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Can hunting of large specimens of a species make the size and weight of the species tend to be smaller?

Siberian tigers in the wild don't grow as much as they used to be in past (in the 1900s). Their average weight was measured 176 kg in 2005 study. But it was also said that those tigers observed in ...
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Is there “stem” organelles in plant meristems?

Two cytoplasmic genomes exist in plant in addition to the nuclear one. As far as I understand, they divide more or less during the entire life of the plant along with cell proliferation/growth in ...
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What was the evolutionary advantage of having seeds so large that they could only be dispersed by megafauna?

I understand that fruits like the avocado and the osange orange are so large and unwieldy that their evolutionary "intent" was to be consumed whole by megafauna that are now extinct. What I ...
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Mathematical/statistical models for forecasting population distributions of age, sex, weight, and height [closed]

I come from a mathematical background but I have no experience with the topic of mathematical biology. Are there well established mathematical/statistical models for forecasting the evolution of ...
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Does a virus that spreads more rapidly have less chance to evolve?

Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has been going on for a while, there are reports of many new variants, which have presumably arisen in the past year through mutation and spread through natural ...
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Caloric Mimicry

Was thinking about natural "zero calorie" sweetness and how these compounds could come to be via evolution. I was specifically thinking about monk fruit. While artificial selection likely ...
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Could an organism evolve to adaptively evolve?

Besides chance mutations sticking around because of their utility towards survival and procreation, could an organism evolve the ability to aid this process by mutating more frequently in beneficial ...
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How can normalizing selection (stabilizing selection) be involved in speciation?

In Mayr's book What Evolution Is, he discusses about normalizing selection in rapidly evolving lineages. "However, normalizing selection is equally active in rapidly evolving lineages." ...
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Which eukaryotic species had evolved the most after losing ability of sexual reproduction?

It seems sexual reproduction is ubiquitous in eukaryotes, so it is important despite needing excessive resources spent. It is an evolutionary adaptation for better evolution. Still, there are species ...
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Does parental conflict lead to genes combining important functions with functions only advantageous for one of the parents?

In a sitation of a mother-father conflict of interests, the mother might use epigenetics to turn off some genes only advantageous for the father's genes and not her own. I thought a logical father's ...
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Are there any species whose descendants can meet their ancestors from 100 generations back?

I.e. Humans can sometimes meet even their great-great-grandparents, but are there any species that can be alive at the same time as their great-great-……-great-grandparents? I imagine it would be those ...
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Can a trait be too successful? Wouldn't overwhelmingly successful traits limit variability, which is one of the requirements of NS? [closed]

Can a trait be too successful? Wouldn't an overwhelmingly successful trait soon limit the gene pool, and if so, how would the process of natural selection react to that? If an individual is born ...
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Are genetic crosses between asexual organisms possible?

To my knowledge (Please correct me if I am wrong), genetic basis is the key in defining species. When we encounter an unknown species, we can sequence it's genome and compare the genome with other ...
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What is the evolutionary advantage with two lungs (kidneys)? [closed]

What is the evolutionary advantage with two lungs (kidneys)? Most living beings only have one heart, one stomach. Most internal organs are not doubled and if one lung fails it is not exactly quite ...
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Have we reached the technology to 'drive' evolution artifically?

Previously our evolution was due to circumstance, we can trace back all our body features to overcome some 'challenge' our ancestors were faced with. Now, in the modern time, with that large ...
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What's the survival benefit of blue plants?

I'm working on a science-fiction worldbuilding setting and have been trying to find out what the survival benefits are of blue in plants, like this or this. I have researched this but most of the ...
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When is it better for a gene to cause a biased sex ratio?

Because genes are selfish and want to maximise their transmission from generation to generation, if they can distort a population's sex ratio, isn't it always in their interest to cause a biased sex ...
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Is the General Cirrate Octopus Form the Basalmost Octopoda Morphology?

The reason I ask this is due to the distinctive internal mantle shells of cirrina, of which the incerrata have stylets that are a remnant of the cirrate shell. Along with this, both cirrate octopuses ...
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Common ancestry of our cells to the first unicellular cell

If we start the chapter of life with low fidelity self replicating RNAs forming exactly identical copies of themselves, which then later evolved to form the first primordial basic cells which further ...
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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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