Monday, March 8, 2010
The Engine of Evolution
In Coyne's book Why Evolution is True, he describes the evolution of one parasitic species (Central American roundworm) to prey on native ants and changes not only their physical traits (change color of abdomen)--but also their behavior (crawl up tree to be more visible for birds). (pg. 112-3) In our behavior unit we learned how deeply ingrained, and even instinctive, animal behaviors can be. So how is it possible for a parasite to slowly evolve the multiple tools required to successfully control these ants (How did this process begin? Was each adaptation simultaneous?)? Doesn't this go against the very things we learned about in evolution? Provide another example of advanced symbiotic relationship between two species (parasitism, mutualism, or commensalism) between species and how it could have evolved/why it would be advantageous to survival of the species/'s.