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Showing posts with the label red queen hypothesis

Is there Supreme Fitness in Evolution?

Richard Lenski of Michigan State University has grown Escherichia coli bacteria since 1988. Even after 58,000 generations, he found that no supreme bacteria were produced. He expected that someday the bacteria would create the ultimate fit entity that was much stronger than their evolutionary predecessors. What he found was that evolution slowed but continued to adjust and change.  The findings are significant in that it is assumed that eventually all creatures max out in their development. This is not true. As the evolutionary process develops, it never really hits its maximum peak. New peaks are always in sight so the species continues to develop.  There is an assumption that biological change is a result of environmental change. If an environment stays the same, a species will reach its biological peak and any further mutations will force it downward into a less competitive stance. Decline becomes a type of biological crash whereby further adaptations put the system ou

Discoveries in the Red Queen Hypothesis and Evolutionary Arms Race

Researchers have lent credibility to the concept of an evolutionary arms race. Charles Marshall, a biology professor and the director of the UC Berkeley Museum of Paleontology, states, “ But we found that a decrease in the origin of new species is just as important as increased extinction rate in driving mammals to extinction.” (UC Berkely News Center, 2013) Their findings help highlight the concept that diversity loss of species is a sign that the environment has overwhelmed them. This hypothesis was originally developed by Leigh van Valen who indicated that the probability of a species survival was based in its competitive abilities with the environment. The environment in this case is other species as well as the life sustaining resources like food and water. As species reproduces, they create opportunities to develop stronger adaptations (new forms) that are better aligned to environmental threats. Generally, the more a species reproduces the more successful it will b