February 22, 2009

10 Evolution Stories Darwin Would Love

1. Sexy Bugs – tiny blister beetles have evolved a trick to survive their infancy in the scorching Mojave desert. They band together and emit phermones to attract male bees that they then ride like a taxicab to shelter and food. (full web article here)

2. Evolving Brain – Are people still evolving? Yes indeed, and it’s happening in the organ that sets us apart from the other species. (full web article here)

3. Shrinking Fish – Why would certain fish evolve to become smaller and weaker? Evolutionarily it’s in their best interests, because fishermen throw those fish back rather than eat them. (full web article here)

4. Romance Genes – When it comes to mating and dating, smell matters. An evolutionary psychologist showed how humans can basically sniff out a mate with the appropriate genetic make-up – or at least sniff out the bad ones. (full web article here)

5. Walking Whales - What ran like a wolf, but is related to the hippo, and now lives in the ocean? A Whale! (full web article here)

6. Hot Chili Secret – the heat in hot peppers is actually an evolutionary defense mechanism aimed at stopping fungus, as hole-poking insects also play a role. (full web article here)

7. Vampire Bats Run – Aside from the incredibly amusing video of vampire bats on a mini-treadmill, the story of how bats lost and regained (”devolved and revolved”?) the ability to run is pretty awesome. (full web article here)

8. Straight Corn Rows – How humans have shaped the evolution of a plant’s, um, shape. Or, why corn used to look really nasty. (full web article here)

9. Mating Trick – Cross dressing among invertebrates? Not quite. Small male cuttlefish who are masters of disguise put a brains-over-brawn twist on the survival of the fittest. (full web article here)

10. Reverse Evolution – scientists reconstructed a single gene that existed more than 500 million years ago, by reverse engineering it from the many genes it has since split into. (full web article here)

Source: Science Central


red.door.read said...

wow. cool list. nature is all that and a bag of chips really.

AJ said...

Haha totally. Like how crazy that the bats can run...I mean why they have to when they can fly.