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CRACKED: 7 Animals That Are Evolving Right Before Our Eyes

CRACKED: 7 Animals That Are Evolving Right Before Our Eyes
People who doubt evolution tend to have one main argument: "If evolution is true, why do we still see monkeys running around today, all chimp-like? Where are all the monkey-men I was promised?" Well, if you or someone you know refuses to believe that organisms change over time without proof on a monkey-man level, here are a buttload of animals in the middle of getting their evolve on. Elephants are Evolving to Lose Their Tusks (and Avoid Poachers) Here's a joke: What did the elephant say to the poacher? Getty"Stop! Sorry about that. GettyAnd ever since animal rights got involved, unemployment has shot up 300 percent. So elephants have decided to take matters into their own hands ... or trunks or weirdly rounded three-toed feet or whatever. By 2005, it was estimated that the tuskless population had risen to between 5 and 10 percent. GettyJust like your debilitating lisp after reading that out loud Which is incredible, because it's not like tusks are the elephant version of wisdom teeth. Related:  Evolution

The 6 Weirdest Ways Wild Animals Are Having to Adapt to Us Humanity's track record with animals has never been stellar. After centuries of ocean dumping, worldwide deforestation, domestication and overhunting, it's safe to say we've got a greasy, opposable thumb in every one of Mother Nature's pies. That's not to say that humanity's only effect on the animal kingdom is pure destruction; in fact, sometimes our ecological footprint looks more like a clown shoe. #6. Probably the only thing you know about parrots and cockatoos is that they can talk. After all, the pets that are raised among humans and learn (or learn to imitate) dozens of words sometimes either escape or are released into the wild. That's why people around Sydney, Melbourne and other big cities in Australia have found wild cockatoos using English phrases. Now imagine how crazy you'd think you were going if one day you were walking through the woods and you suddenly heard a disembodied bird voice tell you to eat a dick."Y'all bitches ain't shit AWWWK! #5. Photos.comProzac.

Cetacean Palaeobiology The archaeocetes are a paraphyletic group of primitive cetaceans that include the earliest, terrestrial 'whales'. The group consists of six families: Pakicetidae, Ambulocetidae, Remingtonocetidae, Protocetidae, Basilosauridae and Dorudontidae, although some scientists include the latter two in one single family Basilosauridae. The graph below shows, how these families are related to each other. Cetacean Evolution In order to understand the biology of the archaeocetes, it is important to first consider what sort of terrestrial animals cetaceans originally evolved from. The relations of early whales (archaeocetes) to artiodactyls and the two extant groups, odontoceti and mysticeti. But in 1994, Dan Graur and Desmond Higgins, two scientists working on cetacean gene sequences dropped a bombshell. Astragali of the Eocene protocetids Rodhocetus balochistanensis (left) and Artiocetus clavis (right), as compared to that of the pronghorn Antilocapra americana (centre). Protocetidae (Stromer 1908)

10 Animals You Won't Believe Are Closely Related Thanks to the know-it-all from second grade, we're all aware that dolphins and whales are mammals, not fish. But it's probably been a while since you've pondered just how incredibly, mind-blowingly weird it is that you and whales were the same animal more recently than whales and sharks. Or to put it in chart form, you and whales split up somewhere in the big tangle of bio diversity up top labeled "Age of Mammals" while whales and fish haven't been the same animals since way the hell down ... ... here where you see the word Selacchi. Courtesy of Getty Images." Turns out it's the same reason birds and bats both ended up flying around on wings: convergent evolution, the smarmy term for when completely unrelated species develop similar traits. Image By Glen Fergus What it looks like: You don't need your wife standing next to you screaming, "MOUSE! What it actually is: A tiny little mutant koala Image By Quartl Image By Cody PopeThe worst part? Image By Jagvar Via Wikipedia

"Evolution is Fact" A New Thermodynamics Theory of the Origin of Life Why does life exist? Popular hypotheses credit a primordial soup, a bolt of lightning and a colossal stroke of luck. But if a provocative new theory is correct, luck may have little to do with it. Instead, according to the physicist proposing the idea, the origin and subsequent evolution of life follow from the fundamental laws of nature and “should be as unsurprising as rocks rolling downhill.” From the standpoint of physics, there is one essential difference between living things and inanimate clumps of carbon atoms: The former tend to be much better at capturing energy from their environment and dissipating that energy as heat. Kristian Peters Cells from the moss Plagiomnium affine with visible chloroplasts, organelles that conduct photosynthesis by capturing sunlight. “You start with a random clump of atoms, and if you shine light on it for long enough, it should not be so surprising that you get a plant,” England said. England’s theoretical results are generally considered valid.

Sea anemone: genetically ½ animal, ½ plant A team led by evolutionary and developmental biologist Ulrich Technau at the University of Vienna has discovered that sea anemones display a genomic landscape with a complexity of regulatory elements similar to that of fruit flies or other animal model systems. This suggests that this principle of gene regulation is already 600 million years old and dates back to the common ancestor of human, fly and sea anemone. On the other hand, sea anemones are more similar to plants rather to vertebrates or insects in their regulation of gene expression by short regulatory RNAs called microRNAs. These surprising evolutionary findings are published in two articles in the journal Genome Research. Our appearance, the shape we have and how our body works is, in addition to environmental influences, largely the result of the action of our genes. Simple organism with complex gene content Gene regulation comparable to higher animal model systems MicroRNAs are important for developmental processes in human…

Tree of Life Web Project The Tree of Life Web Project (ToL) is a collaborative effort of biologists and nature enthusiasts from around the world. On more than 10,000 World Wide Web pages, the project provides information about biodiversity, the characteristics of different groups of organisms, and their evolutionary history (phylogeny). Each page contains information about a particular group, e.g., salamanders, segmented worms, phlox flowers, tyrannosaurs, euglenids, Heliconius butterflies, club fungi, or the vampire squid. ToL pages are linked one to another hierarchically, in the form of the evolutionary tree of life.

Evolution of life's operating system revealed in detail Posted June 30, 2014 | Atlanta, GA The evolution of the ribosome, a large molecular structure found in the cells of all species, has been revealed in unprecedented detail in a new study. Click image to enlarge In a new study, scientists compared three-dimensional structures of ribosomes from a variety of species of varying biological complexity, including humans, yeast, bacteria and archaea. The researchers found distinct fingerprints in the ribosomes where new structures were added to the ribosomal surface without altering the pre-existing ribosomal core, which originated over 3 billion years ago before the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) of life. Credit: Loren Williams/Georgia Institute of Technology. Around 4 billion years ago, the first molecules of life came together on the early Earth and formed precursors of modern proteins and RNA. The study was sponsored by the NASA Astrobiology Institute and the Center for Ribosomal Origins and Evolution at Georgia Tech. CITATION: Anton S.

Deep sea 'mushroom' may be new branch of life 3 September 2014Last updated at 17:43 ET By Paul Rincon Science editor, BBC News website The bizarre creatures were collected from the deep sea in 1986 during a research cruise off Tasmania A mushroom-shaped sea animal discovered off the Australian coast has defied classification in the tree of life. A team of scientists at the University of Copenhagen says the tiny organism does not fit into any of the known subdivisions of the animal kingdom. Such a situation has occurred only a handful of times in the last 100 years. The organisms, which were originally collected in 1986, are described in the academic journal Plos One. The authors of the article note several similarities with the bizarre and enigmatic soft-bodied life forms that lived between 635 and 540 million years ago - the span of Earth history known as the Ediacaran Period. Continue reading the main story “Start Quote We think it belongs in the animal kingdom somewhere, the question is where”

Startling new finding: 600 million years ago, a biological mishap changed everything Ken Prehoda, a biochemist and director of the University of Oregon's Institute of Molecular Biology, discusses his research identifying the mutation that led to multicellular animals. (YouTube/University of Oregan) If life is effectively an endless series of photocopies, as DNA is transcribed and passed on from one being to the next, then evolution is the high-stakes game of waiting for the copier to get it wrong. Too wrong, and you’ll live burdened by a maladaptive mutation or genetic disorder. But if the flaw is wrong in exactly the right way, the incredible can happen: disease resistance, sharper eyesight, swifter feet, big brains, better beaks for Darwin’s finches. In a paper published in the open-access journal eLife this week, researchers say they have pinpointed what may well be one of evolution’s greatest copy mess-ups yet: the mutation that allowed our ancient protozoa predecessors to evolve into complex, multi-cellular organisms. For this, the choanoflagellates were perfect.

Orcas are first non-humans whose evolution is driven by culture John Durban, NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center; research authorised by NMFS (US) By Colin Barras You could call it a culture shock. Many researchers accept that cultural experiences have helped shape human evolution – and evidence has now emerged that the same may be true of killer whales. Human genomes have evolved in response to our cultural behaviours: a classic example is the way that some human populations gained genes for lactose tolerance following the onset of dairy farming. But whether genomes and culture co-evolve in other animal species has been unclear. Andrew Foote at the University of Bern, Switzerland, and his colleagues suspected that killer whales might follow a similar pattern to humans. Advertisement Cosmopolitan whales Killer whales, like people, are widely dispersed from the tropics to the poles. Read about: Orcas seen in unique group ambush-and-kill attack on dolphins But are these cultural groups of killer whales genetically distinct from one another?