/r/evolution

Photograph via //r/evolution

A community to discuss evolutionary biology

The Biology Network
science askscience biology
microbiology bioinformatics biochemistry
evolution ecology
Evolution

On the Origin of Species

New to Reddit?
Subreddit Guidelines
/r/evolution FAQ
User Flair

Apply for Professional or Enthusiast flair here.

Understanding Evolution

If you have a link that you think should be in one of these lists, please message the mods.

Related Subreddits

/r/evolution

111,189 Subscribers

4

When OOA theory started to be taught in schools in most developed countries ?

When OOA theory started to be taught in schools in most developed countries ? I found out it became common knowledge and was accepted by most only by 1990, is it true ?

3 Comments
2024/07/09
17:59 UTC

13

Is it possible that another fuca like cells evolved more than few times in history of earth but just got outcompeted by existing organisms ?

Or is this process so extremely unlikely that it did not happen after the first one

4 Comments
2024/07/09
14:00 UTC

14

What do you think was the reason that plesiomorphic Sauropsids survived, but plesiomorphic Synapsids didn't.

The common ancestor of Amniotes was likely very similar to a modern-day lizard. For example one of the earliest known Synapsids is Archaeothyris, and one of the earliest known Sauropsids is Hylonomus. An animal similar to Archaeothyris eventually evolved into humans, and another resembling Hylonomus eventually evolved into ravens.

However, while there are still pretty plesiomorphic Sauropsids around (Lepidosaurs), there are no lizard-like Synapsids around, and the most basal extant Synapsid, the Platypus is already very mammal-like.

7 Comments
2024/07/09
12:26 UTC

2

OOA vs Multiregional theory in 1980's Japanese scientific discourse

What was the human evolutionary discourse like in 1980's Japan ? What was the prevalent theory between old fashioned and ultimately wrong Multiregional model, and Out Of Africa model, the actual correct theory (even if it needed the slight addition of archaic introgression) ?

2 Comments
2024/07/09
12:21 UTC

3

Evolution Simulator with Predator and Prey Dynamics

0 Comments
2024/07/09
07:02 UTC

7

Why aren't identical twins 100% altruistic towards each other?

According to the gene-centric view (as I understood it from The Selfish Gene), individuals will act more altruistic towards each other based on the shared percentage of their genome. I.e. an individual's mother, father and siblings, having 50% of their genes in common, will be more loyal than member of a more loose social group, or than random people. I even remember reading about worker bees, being 75% identical, as having their own separate agenda from the queen bee with whom they are only at 50%.

Why then is it that monozygotic twins, being 100% identical, do not exhibit the ultimate form of this behavior? from what I've heard they're generally more likely to get on than "normal" siblings, but a whole range of relationships has been seen.

Probably because the identical twin case is rare enough to not produce its own effect in an evolutionary context?

52 Comments
2024/07/09
05:58 UTC

20

Were Homo Sapiens the only humanoid species to domesticate animals? If so, dis this play a role in us being the sole survivors in the Homo genus?

I’m wondering if Homo Sapiens (us) were the only species to have domesticated other animals (such as dogs, cats, cows, etc)? Did this play a role in us being the only survivors in genus Homo if we were?

35 Comments
2024/07/09
03:25 UTC

56

Why does our body have a hard time giving birth?

Okay I guess theirs other species that have the mother be consumed after death. But why this? You think evolution wouldve eliminated this danger? It just wouldnt make sense to risk having the child bearer die while also having the infant die as well. Like what kind of sick joke is this?

82 Comments
2024/07/09
01:04 UTC

24

Has the human brain evolved over thousands of years?

Would a person somehow brought to the present from, for example, ancient Egypt be able to develop skills that are accessible to modern humans? Skills like driving a car at high speeds; typing 60 WPM; writing complex computer code; etc. Skills, the nature of which, would have no purpose 5000 years ago.
If they could, why? Why would the brain have evolved to be able to learn to do things that were in fact millennia to come?
And would that imply that there are likely skills we cannot even imagined existing, that we are capable of?

60 Comments
2024/07/08
21:37 UTC

0

Is there a "consciousness" gene?

Is there something in the DNA of humans that makes them different than other primates from a consciousness and intellect perspective? What is it exactly that causes humans to be able to reason, reflect, and have metacognition?

20 Comments
2024/07/08
20:40 UTC

19

What evolutionary pressures would have encouraged the development of intelligence in the genus homo?

In other words, what about our hominid ancestors’ ecological niche made being as intelligent as we are a beneficial adaptation whereas it hasn’t for any other organism (at least not yet)?

49 Comments
2024/07/08
09:03 UTC

20

Would human preference for certain strains of plants be considered a type of selective pressure?

I was watching a documentary about early agriculture in China, and had this thought when they discussed the development of domesticated plants like rice. Obviously early humans did not understand evolution or selective breeding like we do now, but considering certain traits made one kind of rice more popular than another, would that be considered selective pressure?

16 Comments
2024/07/07
17:25 UTC

29

Did early humans have to train to hunt?

I'm mostly talking about physical stats like running since many people believe we used to run our prey down until they became tired and weak. Did we suddenly game extremely high stamina levels once we hit puberty so that we could to and hunt with everyone else? Did we know what training was? Did we naturally train by trying to keep up with the family?

21 Comments
2024/07/07
12:22 UTC

0

Are we devolving?

For starters I mean devolving as evolving in a negative way. I’d like someone to correct me if I’m wrong sense I’m just an average joe who had this idea based on what I know.

So evolution occurs when a mutation helps an organism carry on its genes such as strength or appearance. This occurs through natural selection, but we as humans have largely removed death from ourselves through things like medicine and there is also makeup and surgery for appearance. Common sense leads me to believe that the majority of possible mutations are negative so with nothing to hold us in place will we eventually grow farther and farther from what is now “human.” Like will we turn into monster blobs with a bunch of negative variation?

I mean this in the physical sense for mutations and hope you can focus on this instead of something like how AI could make people dumb or anxiety be passed down.

Edit: Ignoring social implications, through medicine and makeup everyone will be fit and be able to pass on their genes. Using good or bad was subjective of me as I would consider being more susceptible to disease a bad trait but as long as the medicine keeps up, from a natural point of view they would be just as fit as anyone else. This is the basis of my question. Since everyone besides very negative outliers (born without lungs?) is equally fit, will we eventually evolve into monster blobs with all kinds of susceptibility only shielded through medicine. From a natural point of view it would be considered neutral as we would still be fit, but negative as compared to now. Would this happen unless we discover a way to modify out dna?

16 Comments
2024/07/07
05:30 UTC

25

Eating Meat

At what point, and for what reason did we evolve so that our GI system needs meat to be cooked?

It seems rather peculiar that we as a species would develop that naturally, and I don't believe we would, unless our biology became acclimated to the change of having cooked food over thousands of years of settlement during the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods, going into the Mesopotamian Early Bronze, so that we lost our tolerance for raw meat consumption?

66 Comments
2024/07/07
04:30 UTC

17

Are mammalian teeth generally stronger and (in the broadest sense) more "capable" than non-mammalian teeth?

In the wikipedia article on Diphyodonts, the reason stated for mammals having evolved to only possess two sets of teeth was due to the early proto-mammalian shrew-like creatures being able to sacrifice having multiple sets of teeth (as they lived short lives anyway) in favor of evolving supposedly stronger, more specialised teeth to be able to prey upon arthropods. The wikipedia page indirectly attributes this strength to the mostly mammal-exclusive tooth socket. After some cursory searching online, I have not been able to find a definitive answer to this question and was wondering if anyone here would know the answer.

7 Comments
2024/07/07
03:37 UTC

0

will humans ever meaningfully evolve?

obviously, we'll still have random genetic mutations, but most of these mutations won't have any significant advantage as our society is no longer based on the survival of the fittest. if we do evolve, how long will it take for it to become noticeable?

56 Comments
2024/07/07
00:41 UTC

5

Are there enough environmental pressures for modern humans to continue expanding our brain and intelligence in the future through evolution, as has been the case for the past few million years?

We evolved to our current state of cognitive capacity and brain power entirely as hunter gatherers, when natural selection heavily favored traits of intelligence.

As a civilization, does intelligence still play a role in natural selection, at least enough to continue our upward trend of intelligence? Or could you say that as of right now we have stagnated that trait, and we would require a new currently non-existent environmental pressure to cause our intelligence to continue increasing?

I am not saying evolution is linear or has a "goal", I understand evolution is simply the natural selection of traits overtime that come from that random trait's ability of allowing a species to survive and/or procreate.

There's also the issue of defining intelligence. Intelligence in itself is not a trait, but a broad term, and can't be measured. Some could argue that EQ and social aptitude are more important for a civilization than raw IQ and logical problem solving. There's also animals that have certain intelligence related traits much better than ours, such as some bird species' spatial memory and awareness, which gives them the ability to swiftly navigate through a dense forest like they have a neural GPS.

I guess my question is, has our general intelligence, the one that has been developing over the past 5-ish million years, stagnated due to settling down?

3 Comments
2024/07/06
23:55 UTC

66

Why did sweating to cool body temperature only evolve in humans and why did it take so long?

Most other mammals seem to have pretty bad endurance and they don't regulate their body temp as efficiently as we do, which is why we're the best runners and all that. But why were we the only mammals to evolve that? It seems like a pretty easy leap. Other mammals can still sweat, platypus even sweats milk but they don't use it to cool themselves.

57 Comments
2024/07/06
21:16 UTC

13

What facilitated the emergence of symbolic reasoning in humans?

How come that symbolic reasoning is a better fit than an increase in short-term memory capacity for example?

15 Comments
2024/07/06
14:50 UTC

19

The humorous definition of clades on palaeos.com

There is this old website palaeos.com dealing with phylogeny, which sometimes gives a humorous description of what is included in a clade and what isn't.

For example Amniota includes Sicilians, but not Caecilians.

Gorilla includes King Kong, but not Viet Cong.

Bilateria is Atta the Ant + Attila the Hun

The site also whimsically suggested that the human love of sitting in a hot tub and consuming appetizers from passing trays comes from our sponge ancestors.

3 Comments
2024/07/06
10:32 UTC

16

Did people in the past look different?

100 years ago. 500 years ago. 1,000 years ago.

I remember reading someone suggest once that when they see pictures from the 1920s, they always think about how different people looked. Is this just a result of different styling choices or has something about our overall appearance changed

7 Comments
2024/07/06
06:23 UTC

65

What are some really cool facts about evolution you know?

Facts that would just blow the average person’s mind.

80 Comments
2024/07/06
06:09 UTC

14

Are there any recent examples of speciation that we know of?

By recent, I’m talking maybe within the last 40,00-30,000 years or so to today. I’m also not necessarily talking about animal domestication, as that’s kind of its own thing. Usually, discussion about animal speciation tends to be on much older examples from what I’ve seen. Modern humans are always discussed as being a relatively young species, for instance. It’s caused me to be curious about any recent or currently ongoing speciation that has been recognized, as I don’t see this being talked about often.

26 Comments
2024/07/05
21:07 UTC

161

What evolutionary pressures caused human brains to triple in size In the last 2-3 million years

My understanding is the last common ancestor of modern humans and modern chimpanzees was 6 million years ago.

Chimpanzee brains didn't really grow over the last 6 million years.

Meanwhile the brains of human ancestors didn't grow from 6 to 3 million years ago. But starting 2-3 million years ago human brain size grew 300-400%, while the size of the cerebral cortex grew 600%. The cerebral cortex is responsible for our higher intellectual functioning.

So what evolutionary pressures caused this brain growth and why didn't other primate species grow their brains under the same evolutionary pressures?

Theories I've heard:

An ice age caused it, but did humans leave Africa by this point? Did Africa have an ice age? Humans left Africa 60-100k years ago, why wouldnt evolutions pressure in africa also cause brain growth among other primates?

The discovery of fire allowed for more nutrients to be extracted from food, required smaller digestive systems and allowed more nutrients to be send to the brain. Also smaller teeth and smaller jaw muscles allowed the brain and skull to expand. But our brains would have to have already grown before we learned how to master fire 1 million years ago.

Our brains 2-3 Mya were 350-450cc. Modern human brains are 1400cc. But homo erectus is the species that mastered fire 1 Mya, and their brains were already 950cc. So fire was discovered after our brains grew, not before.

Any other theories?

Edit: Also, I know brain size alone isn't the only factor in intelligence. Number of neurons in the cerebral cortex, neuronal connections, brain to body weight ratio, encephalization quotient, etc. all also play a role. But all these, along with brain size growth, happened with humans in the last 2-3 million years but not to other primates.

234 Comments
2024/07/05
19:26 UTC

48

What’s the farthest along example of convergent evolution?

I remember watching a YouTube video about a moth that looks and acts like a hummingbird

one is a bird and the other is an insect.

im not talking about a fossa and a large predatory cat, since those are both mammals.

im looking for the farthest separated most similar things.

44 Comments
2024/07/05
15:43 UTC

5

What did the temporary shelters look like during The Aurignacian?

I know there were different varieties of shelters, but I don’t really see any images or info on them. Only that they occasionally stayed in caves. I’d love to know how they were made, and what they looked like, all of their different shelters. Specifically, 43,000ish years ago when Homo sapiens met the Neanderthals. Thanks!

3 Comments
2024/07/05
13:37 UTC

Back To Top