Convergent Evolution

Limited Forms Most Beautiful

Author: George R. McGhee

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262016427

Category: Science

Page: 322

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Charles Darwin famously concluded On the Origin of Species with a vision of "endless forms most beautiful" continually evolving. More than 150 years later many evolutionary biologists see not endless forms but the same, or very similar, forms evolving repeatedly in many independent species lineages. A porpoise's fishlike fins, for example, are not inherited from fish ancestors but are independently derived convergent traits. In this book, George McGhee describes the ubiquity of the phenomenon of convergent evolution and connects it directly to the concept of evolutionary constraint--the idea that the number of evolutionary pathways available to life are not endless, but quite limited. Convergent evolution occurs on all levels, from tiny organic molecules to entire ecosystems of species. McGhee demonstrates its ubiquity in animals, both herbivore and carnivore; in plants; in ecosystems; in molecules, including DNA, proteins, and enzymes; and even in minds, describing problem-solving behavior and group behavior as the products of convergence. For each species example, he provides an abbreviated list of the major nodes in its phylogenetic classification, allowing the reader to see the evolutionary relationship of a group of species that have independently evolved a similar trait by convergent evolution. McGhee analyzes the role of functional and developmental constraints in producing convergent evolution, and considers the scientific and philosophical implications of convergent evolution for the predictability of the evolutionary process.

Evolutionary Biology

Convergent Evolution, Evolution of Complex Traits, Concepts and Methods

Author: Pierre Pontarotti

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319413244

Category: Science

Page: 422

View: 1311

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This book presents selected contributions to the 19th Evolutionary Biology Meeting, which took place in September 2015 in Marseille. It consists of 22 chapters, which are grouped in four sections: · Convergent Evolution · Evolution of Complex Traits · Concepts · Methods The annual Evolutionary Biology Meetings in Marseille serve to gather leading evolutionary biologists and other scientists using evolutionary biology concepts, e.g for medical research, to promote the exchange of ideas and to encourage interdisciplinary collaborations. Offering an up-to-date overview of recent findings in the field of evolutionary biology, this book is an invaluable source of information for scientists, teachers and advanced students.

Convergent Evolution in Stone-Tool Technology

Author: Michael J. O'Brien,Briggs Buchanan,Metin I. Eren,Gerd B. Müller,Günter P. Wagner,Werner Callebaut

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262346176

Category: Science

Page: 304

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Scholars from a variety of disciplines consider cases of convergence in lithic technology, when functional or developmental constraints result in similar forms in independent lineages. Hominins began using stone tools at least 2.6 million years ago, perhaps even 3.4 million years ago. Given the nearly ubiquitous use of stone tools by humans and their ancestors, the study of lithic technology offers an important line of inquiry into questions of evolution and behavior. This book examines convergence in stone tool-making, cases in which functional or developmental constraints result in similar forms in independent lineages. Identifying examples of convergence, and distinguishing convergence from divergence, refutes hypotheses that suggest physical or cultural connection between far-flung prehistoric toolmakers. Employing phylogenetic analysis and stone-tool replication, the contributors show that similarity of tools can be caused by such common constraints as the fracture properties of stone or adaptive challenges rather than such unlikely phenomena as migration of toolmakers over an Arctic ice shelf. Contributors R. Alexander Bentley, Briggs Buchanan, Marcelo Cardillo, Mathieu Charbonneau, Judith Charlin, Chris Clarkson, Loren G. Davis, Metin I. Eren, Peter Hiscock, Thomas A. Jennings, Steven L. Kuhn, Daniel E. Lieberman, George R. McGhee, Alex Mackay, Michael J. O'Brien, Charlotte D. Pevny, Ceri Shipton, Ashley M. Smallwood, Heather Smith, Jayne Wilkins, Samuel C. Willis, Nicolas Zayns

Improbable Destinies

Fate, Chance, and the Future of Evolution

Author: Jonathan B. Losos

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0399184937

Category: Science

Page: 384

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A major new book overturning our assumptions about how evolution works Earth’s natural history is full of fascinating instances of convergence: phenomena like eyes and wings and tree-climbing lizards that have evolved independently, multiple times. But evolutionary biologists also point out many examples of contingency, cases where the tiniest change—a random mutation or an ancient butterfly sneeze—caused evolution to take a completely different course. What role does each force really play in the constantly changing natural world? Are the plants and animals that exist today, and we humans ourselves, inevitabilities or evolutionary flukes? And what does that say about life on other planets? Jonathan Losos reveals what the latest breakthroughs in evolutionary biology can tell us about one of the greatest ongoing debates in science. He takes us around the globe to meet the researchers who are solving the deepest mysteries of life on Earth through their work in experimental evolutionary science. Losos himself is one of the leaders in this exciting new field, and he illustrates how experiments with guppies, fruit flies, bacteria, foxes, and field mice, along with his own work with anole lizards on Caribbean islands, are rewinding the tape of life to reveal just how rapid and predictable evolution can be. Improbable Destinies will change the way we think and talk about evolution. Losos's insights into natural selection and evolutionary change have far-reaching applications for protecting ecosystems, securing our food supply, and fighting off harmful viruses and bacteria. This compelling narrative offers a new understanding of ourselves and our role in the natural world and the cosmos.

The Runes of Evolution

How the Universe became Self-Aware

Author: Simon Conway Morris

Publisher: Templeton Foundation Press

ISBN: 1599474654

Category: Science

Page: 480

View: 8678

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How did human beings acquire imaginations that can conjure up untrue possibilities? How did the Universe become self-aware? In The Runes of Evolution, Simon Conway Morris revitalizes the study of evolution from the perspective of convergence, providing us with compelling new evidence to support the mounting scientific view that the history of life is far more predictable than once thought. A leading evolutionary biologist at the University of Cambridge, Conway Morris came into international prominence for his work on the Cambrian explosion (especially fossils of the Burgess Shale) and evolutionary convergence, which is the process whereby organisms not closely related (not monophyletic), independently evolve similar traits as a result of having to adapt to similar environments or ecological niches. In The Runes of Evolution, he illustrates how the ubiquity of convergence hints at an underlying framework whereby many outcomes, not least brains and intelligence, are virtually guaranteed on any Earth-like planet. Conway Morris also emphasizes how much of the complexity of advanced biological systems is inherent in microbial forms. By casting a wider net, The Runes of Evolution explores many neglected evolutionary questions. Some are remarkably general. Why, for example, are convergences such as parasitism, carnivory, and nitrogen fixation in plants concentrated in particular taxonomic hot spots? Why do certain groups have a particular propensity to evolve toward particular states? Some questions lead to unexpected evolutionary insights: If bees sleep (as they do), do they dream? Why is that insect copulating with an orchid? Why have sponges evolved a system of fiber optics? What do mantis shrimps and submarines have in common? If dinosaurs had not gone extinct what would have happened next? Will a saber-toothed cat ever re-evolve? Cona Morris observes: “Even amongst the mammals, let alone the entire tree of life, humans represent one minute twig of a vast (and largely fossilized) arborescence. Every living species is a linear descendant of an immense string of now-vanished ancestors, but evolution itself is the very reverse of linear. Rather it is endlessly exploratory, probing the vast spaces of biological hyperspace. Indeed this book is a celebration of how our world is (and was) populated by a riot of forms, a coruscating tapestry of life.” The Runes of Evolution is the most definitive synthesis of evolutionary convergence to be published to date.

The Deep Structure of Biology

Is Convergence Sufficiently Ubiquitous to Give a Directional Signal

Author: Simon Conway Morris

Publisher: Templeton Foundation Press

ISBN: 1599471388

Category: Religion

Page: 243

View: 515

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Twelve renowned scientists and theologians offer penetrating insights into the evolution dialogue in The Deep Structure of Biology. Each considers whether the orthodox model of evolution is sufficient and offers his/her own perspective on evolution and biology. Essays include: •Chance and Necessity in Evolution •Green Plants as Intelligent Organisms •Canny Corvoids and Political Primates: A Case for Convergent Evolution in Intelligence •Social and Cultural Evolution in the Ocean: Convergences and Contrasts with Terrestrial Systems •Purpose in Nature: On the Possibility of a Theology of Evolution Editor Simon Conway Morris provides the introduction and an overview of the issues as well as an essay on evolution and convergence. Other contributors are: Richard Lenski, George McGhee, Karl Niklas, Anthony Trewavas, Nigel Franks, Nicola Clayton, Nathan Emery, HalWhitehead, Robert Foley, Michael Ruse, Celia Deane-Drummond, and John Haught. The discussion of biology and evolution in these essays broadens the scope of the traditional evolution discussion as it aims to stimulate the development of further research programs. Scholars in the science and religion field will find this book a valuable resource.

The Theory of Evolution

Author: John Maynard Smith

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521451284

Category: Science

Page: 354

View: 6264

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All living plants and animals, including man, are the modified descendants of one or a few simple living things. A hundred years ago Darwin and Wallace in their theory of natural selection, or the survival of the fittest, explained how evolution could have happened, in terms of processes known to take place today. In this book John Maynard Smith describes how their theory has been confirmed, but at the same time transformed, by recent research, and in particular by the discovery of the laws of inheritance.

Science in Popular Culture

A Reference Guide

Author: A. Bowdoin Van Riper

Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group

ISBN: 9780313318221

Category: Science

Page: 314

View: 3353

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Spaceships travel through time at lightspeed, piloted by human clones and talking animals. Serious injuries are healed with the wave of a medical gizmo. The media make it all look so real. Can scientists hope to one day accomplish these feats? This book is a fun look at what can, and can't, be achieved with current technology.

Evolution and Prehistory: The Human Challenge

Author: William Haviland,Dana Walrath,Harald Prins,Bunny McBride

Publisher: Cengage Learning

ISBN: 0495812196

Category: Social Science

Page: 400

View: 4069

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Offering compelling photos, engaging examples, and select studies by anthropologists in a variety of locations around the globe, Haviland, Walrath, Prins and McBride present evolution and prehistory in vivid, accessible terms, and show students how the field is relevant to understanding the complex world around them. The authors present the fundamental concepts from a holistic perspective using three unifying themes to frame the text: 1) the varied ways humans face the challenges of existence, 2) the connections between culture and biology in shaping the course of human evolutionary history as well contemporary beliefs and behavior, and 3) the impact of globalization on the continued survival of our species and planet. This edition offers a new Chapter 4, Primate Behavior, which examines the sophisticated behavior and communication abilities of the great apes and other anthropoid primates, as well as current ethical considerations over the use of primates in medical research. The vital issue of primate conservation is expanded and integrated into our survey of the living primates. Reorganized, streamlined, and richly illustrated human evolution chapters provide the same material vital for an introductory course in human origins as in previous editions but do so with fewer pages of text. In this edition, they have added new topics to the popular Globalscape, a map/story/photo feature that highlights specific examples of globalization and prompts students to think critically about its scope and consequences. Furthermore, the text’s strong supplements program provides instructors and students with a wealth of resources designed to enhance the teaching and learning experience. Important Notice: Media content referenced within the product description or the product text may not be available in the ebook version.

Ecology and Evolution of Communities

Author: Martin L. Cody,Jared M. Diamond

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674224445

Category: Nature

Page: 545

View: 8808

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The evolution of species abundance and diversity; Competitive strategies of resource allocation; Community structure; Outlook.

Phylogeny and Evolution of the Angiosperms

Revised and Updated Edition

Author: Douglas Soltis,Pamela Soltis,Peter Endress,Mark W. Chase,Steven Manchester,Walter Judd,Lucas Majure,Evgeny Mavrodiev

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022644175X

Category: Science

Page: 560

View: 5087

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Although they are relative latecomers on the evolutionary scene, having emerged only 135‒170 million years ago, angiosperms—or flowering plants—are the most diverse and species-rich group of seed-producing land plants, comprising more than 15,000 genera and over 350,000 species. Not only are they a model group for studying the patterns and processes of evolutionary diversification, they also play major roles in our economy, diet, and courtship rituals, producing our fruits, legumes, and grains, not to mention the flowers in our Valentine’s bouquets. They are also crucial ecologically, dominating most terrestrial and some aquatic landscapes. This fully revised edition of Phylogeny and Evolution of the Angiosperms provides an up-to-date, comprehensive overview of the evolution of and relationships among these vital plants. Incorporating molecular phylogenetics with morphological, chemical, developmental, and paleobotanical data, as well as presenting a more detailed account of early angiosperm fossils and important fossil information for each evolutionary branch of the angiosperms, the new edition integrates fossil evidence into a robust phylogenetic framework. Featuring a wealth of new color images, this highly synthetic work further reevaluates long-held evolutionary hypotheses related to flowering plants and will be an essential reference for botanists, plant systematists, and evolutionary biologists alike.

Life's Solution

Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe

Author: Simon Conway Morris

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780511077166

Category: Convergence (Biology)

Page: 464

View: 4571

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The eminent evolutionary palaeobiologist Simon Conway Morris challenges the accepted view that if the tape of life were wound back, the replay would be very different. He also asks: are we alone?