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Old August 17th, 2014, 04:25 PM   #1
GodIsNotGreat
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Evolution - News, Research and Viewpoints

In 1859 Charles Darwin published his theory of natural selection amid an explosion of controversy. Like the work of Copernicus in the 16th century revealing the movement of the Earth, Darwin's idea shook the foundations of the establishment and profoundly altered humanity's view of its place in the universe.

Today evolution is the unifying force in modern biology; it ties together fields as disparate as genetics, microbiology and palaeontology. It is an elegant and convincing explanation for the staggering diversity of Earth's five million or more living species.

Evolution has several facets. The first is the theory that all living species are the modified descendents of earlier species, and that we all share a common ancestor in the distant past. All species are therefore related via a vast tree of life. The second is that this evolution is driven by a process of natural selection or the - "survival of the fittest".





http://phylointelligence.com/index.html

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution

Last edited by GodIsNotGreat; August 17th, 2014 at 04:57 PM. Reason: Link not working
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Old August 17th, 2014, 04:29 PM   #2
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Mimicry - How the Kingsnake Is Still Fooling Predators into Thinking It’s Venomous

From the article:

In the Sandhills of North Carolina, scrubby pine and oak forests now cover what used to be sand dunes twenty million years ago, when the sea came 150 miles further inland. Coral snakes used to hide in the tall grasses here, their red and black bands inspiring rhymes that warn hikers to avoid the United States’ most toxic snake. No one has seen a coral snake in the Sandhills since 1960.

But in a way, the coral snake is still present here. An impostor, the relatively harmless scarlet kingsnake, flashes its own red and black rings from its hiding places among pine needles and rotting logs. The kingsnakes’ borrowed disguise is an evolutionary memory, a reminder of the venomous coral snake that used to live in the Sandhills. Most memories wander from their originals and eventually fade—but the scarlet kingsnakes’ mimicry has been getting stronger and more faithful in the decades since the original disappeared.




http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next/ev...nary-momentum/
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Old August 19th, 2014, 03:48 AM   #3
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Badass Cuckoo - Brood Parasitism

How the cuckoo breeds and rears its young, (or how it gets other birds to babysit its brood) paints nature as cruel and unforgiving. However this illustrates the adaptation of a species that permits it to spend less of its time in feeding its young and instead allows it to maximize its fitness.

The cuckoo lays its egg on the nest of another species and fools the nest-owning pair into thinking that it is one of its eggs. When the cuckoo egg hatches it disposes of the other eggs so that it alone survives. The cuckold birds are tricked into constantly feeding it even until it fledges.





Caption.The wren on the left is the mother of the cuckoo

This evolutionary adaptation biologists call Brood Parasitism.

One interesting thing is that cuckoos do this to different host birds with different egg appearances, by laying eggs that match them!




How this happens is explained in the article thus:

Interestingly, different females within a population of European Cuckoos often parasitize different host species. Some cuckoos may specialize in parasitizing the nests of Garden Warblers; others of the same population may lay in the nests of Reed Warblers, and yet others may lay in nests of White Wagtails. The eggs of each female very closely mimic those of the host selected (even though one host may have large, densely spotted eggs, and another may have smaller, unmarked pale blue eggs), and the mimetic patterns are genetically determined. The different genetic kinds of females (called "gentes") apparently mate at random with males. How these gentes are maintained within the cuckoo populations is not fully understood.

https://web.stanford.edu/group/stanf...arasitism.html

But apparently cuckoos are not able to fool all birds:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth...00/9203476.stm

Other examples of Brood Parasitism

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/science...3-moth-nf.html
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Old August 19th, 2014, 11:18 AM   #4
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From 2010: New species of fish with arms discovered in Australia:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...ence-pictures/

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Old August 19th, 2014, 10:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GodIsNotGreat View Post
Today evolution is the unifying force in modern biology; it ties together fields as disparate as genetics, microbiology and palaeontology. It is an elegant and convincing explanation for the staggering diversity of Earth's five million or more living species.
Twenty million. Insects alone account for over three million species, not to mention fungi and parasitic organisms of any kind.
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Old August 21st, 2014, 07:03 PM   #6
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Not brand new news but still an interesting example of evolution:

Ballistic duck penises and convoluted duck vaginas.
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Old August 24th, 2014, 02:28 AM   #7
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This Ant Species May Support a Controversial Theory on Evolution

New research suggests that species don't have to be geographically separated in order to evolve



Caption.Photos of two queen ants (left, the host species Mycocepurus goeldii and right, the parasitic species Mycocepurus castrator) shown side-by-side represent what may be an example of sympatric speciation—when a new species develops in the same geographic area with its sister species, but reproduces on its own. (Christian Rabeling, University of Rochester)

From the article:

At the center of the new findings is an evolutionary concept called sympatric speciation, the possibility “for a species to split into two species without any geographic separation,” Schultz says. “That’s usually been criticized and usually been rejected. It’s a very hard thing to prove.”

Most new species develop in geographic isolation from the original species, a concept called allopatric speciation. It is rare for a species like the parasite ants to evolve from another species within the same nest.

In the 1930s, 70 years after Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species, biologist Ernst Meyer began talking about allopatric speciation. He was adamant about it; Rabeling describes him as “the biologist equivalent of a Prussian general.” But one of Meyer’s students, Guy Bush, challenged that concept and spent his career seeking evidence of sympatric speciation.

Decades later, the scientific community continues to hotly debate those two possibilities for how species evolve.


http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smiths...ion-180952423/
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Old September 1st, 2014, 06:57 PM   #8
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evolution is sooo long...cant even imagine..we are here for 5000+ or something and these are millions of years



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Old September 3rd, 2014, 04:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
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evolution is sooo long...cant even imagine..we are here for 5000+ or something and these are millions of years
this sentence is a bit confusing.
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forum do grêmio, para quem não consegue se conter e falar somente do estádio, uma boa opção
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Old September 6th, 2014, 03:48 AM   #10
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Virgin gives birth! – (Well, a virgin snake)

From the article:

The arrival of three baby anacondas at West Midlands Safari Park is being heralded as a "miraculous virgin birth" by staff.

Reptile handlers at the park believe they are the first snakes of their kind ever to be born in captivity, without any help from a male.

The scientific name for the births is parthenogenesis, which is literally Greek for "virgin birth".




http://beta.bbc.com/news/uk-england-...ester-28886642

Wikipedia gives this definition:

Parthenogenesis /ˌpɑrθənoʊˈdʒɛnəsɨs/ is a form of asexual reproduction in which growth and development of embryos occur without fertilization. In animals, parthenogenesis means development of an embryo from an unfertilized egg cell and is a component process of apomixis.


Though not uncommon in invertebrates, they are considered novelties in snakes, lizards (including the Komodo) and sharks.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/19555550

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/adaptati...nesis#p00jxkjp
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Old September 8th, 2014, 03:00 AM   #11
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Old September 10th, 2014, 10:21 PM   #12
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Old September 13th, 2014, 03:05 PM   #13
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New study explains why men's noses are bigger than women's

From the article:

A new study from the University of Iowa concludes that men’s noses are about 10 percent larger than female noses, on average, in populations of European descent. The size difference, the researchers believe, comes from the sexes’ different builds and energy demands: Males in general have more lean muscle mass, which requires more oxygen for muscle tissue growth and maintenance. Larger noses mean more oxygen can be breathed in and transported in the blood to supply the muscle.

It also explains why our noses are smaller than those of our ancestors, such as the Neanderthals. The reason, the researchers believe, is because our distant lineages had more muscle mass, and so needed larger noses to maintain that muscle. Modern humans have less lean muscle mass, meaning we can get away with smaller noses.


http://now.uiowa.edu/2013/11/big-male-nose
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Old September 19th, 2014, 02:50 AM   #14
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Old September 27th, 2014, 03:40 PM   #15
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Feathers -> Flight

Not a new video, but the evolution of feathers has perplexed many people.
Feathers/wings serve many functions other than flight. Different birds use them for different reasons
like mating, threat display, camouflage, etc. In the link below a biologist lists 23 ways birds use feathers.



https://askabiologist.asu.edu/conten...tions-feathers
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Old September 30th, 2014, 02:01 AM   #16
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Wait a second. So millions of years from now, humans may be anime characters?




I don't know... they're still too 3d and disgusting. ;--;
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Old September 30th, 2014, 02:23 AM   #17
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Yeah that joke was made before
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Old September 30th, 2014, 02:28 AM   #18
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...
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So...we will get anime eyes?
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Old September 30th, 2014, 03:51 AM   #19
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Wasn't making a joke. I just found it interesting that evolving into more anime-like people possible. Though maybe I shouldn't be so shocked. Given billions of years and the proper conditions, we could all look like Mickey Mouse. In my eyes, if there is one scientific theory that stands above all other in terms of being the most accurate possible description of a process in the world, it's evolution. It's pretty much one of the only major scientific theories I've never questioned, but I dunno if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Once and a while to keep myself sharp, I may doubt that the speed of light is a constant, I might doubt one of the laws of thermodynamics, I might doubt the cause of an disease or syndrome, I might doubt the big bang, might doubt something proven about QM, I may doubt causality, I might occasionally take some theories and laws with a grain of salt, but I don't think I have ever been critical of evolution in the slightest - despite the endless stream of misinformation and pure lies people try to pass off as fact to blind others. While I don't agree with 100% of what Dan Dennett or anyone says, I think his description of evolution an algorithmic process is one of the better ways to describe it.
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Old September 30th, 2014, 04:55 AM   #20
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I think we would look like anime characters to the neanderthals.
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