Evolutionary Pathways in Nature: A Phylogenetic Approach by John C. Avise

By John C. Avise

Reconstructing phylogenetic bushes from DNA sequences has turn into a well-liked workout in lots of branches of biology, and right here the well known geneticist John Avise explains why. Molecular phylogenies offer a genealogical backdrop for reading the evolutionary histories of many different sorts of organic characteristics (anatomical, behavioral, ecological, physiological, biochemical or even geographical). Guiding readers on a normal background journey alongside dozens of evolutionary pathways, the writer describes how creatures starting from microbes to elephants got here to own their present phenotypes. crucial examining for students, specialist biologists and someone attracted to ordinary historical past and biodiversity, this publication is jam-packed with interesting examples of evolutionary puzzles from around the animal state; how the toucan obtained its huge, immense invoice, how reptiles develop again misplaced limbs and why Arctic fish do not freeze.

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But this was far from the end of the story. More than a century later, and despite the appearance of more than 40 morphological treatises on the subject, no clear scientific consensus had yet emerged regarding the Giant Panda’s ancestry. Phylogenetic relationships of the Red Panda have been no less controversial. Debates have swirled as to whether this species is related most closely to the Ursidae, Procyonidae, Mustelidae (weasels, otters, badgers, wolverines), Musteloidea (procyonids + mustelids, including skunks), or Pinnipedia (seals, sea lions, walruses).

In effect, it is the opposite of recapitulation (in which the juvenile stage of descendents resembles the adult stage of their ancestors). As applied to beloniform fishes, the paedomorphosis hypothesis (like the recapitulation hypothesis) supposes that the original evolutionary starting condition was a short jaw, but it differs from the recapitulation scenario by proposing that subsequent evolutionary transitions were to descendent halfbeaks via ancestral needlefish-like forms. Scientists cherish evolutionary puzzles of this sort where viable competing hypotheses make clear but opposing predictions that are empirically testable.

However, in diverse insect orders 32 Anatomical structures Walkingstick insect of the class Pterygota (winged insects) at least some evolutionary lineages have become secondarily wingless. Well-known examples include fleas (Siphonaptera) and lice (Anoplura and Psocoptera). Another involves stick insects (Phasmatodea), commonly known as walkingsticks. Stick insects are terrestrial or arboreal creatures whose cryptic bodies often escape detection by mimicking twigs or leaves. The resemblance can be nearly perfect in morphological detail, and even in behavior because many stick insects gently sway their bodies as if being a twig caressed by the wind.

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