MALE SEAHORSE SHARE SOMETHING WITH YOUR MOTHER.

Viviparity (live birth) has evolved more than 150 times in vertebrates and at least 23 times in fish, but the syngnathid fishes (seahorses and pipefish) are the only ones in which males becomes pregnant. They have evolved special brooding pouches that provide protection, gas exchange, osmoregulation and some nutrients to developing embryos.

A team of Australian researchers examined the genes involved in male pregnancy in the big-belly seahorse (Hippocampus abdominalis) and they found that seahorse pregnancy involves more than 3000 genes. Intriguingly, many of these same genes are involved in female pregnancy in mammals, reptiles and other fish, a striking example of convergent evolution.

Incredible.

Since the challenges of pregnancy are similar across phyla (or indeed sex), evolution has apparently recruited similar genes to carry out the task.

anonymous asked:

I really love your blog and really love dinosaurs. And since when I first learned that birds are in fact dinosaurs gives me a whole new perspective on the house sparrows and crows that sit in the trees and always reminding myself "Wow we live among real dinosaurs." And it really makes sense when I get hissed at by a Canadian goose one time yep that is in fact a dinosaur.

The truth 

has been spoken!

8

WARNING: ON SEPTEMBER 28, 2015 MANKIND WILL LEAP IN EVOLUTION. HUMAN DNA IS MODIFIED AND A NEW ERA BEGINS Earth moves in a region of the galaxy, which leads to increased cosmic energies affecting our sun and altering human DNA. It is predicted that this will lead to many changes in human society, including the major discoveries of advanced technology, the secret space program and extraterrestrial life. Dr. Simon Atkins, a famous doctor in Bioelectromagnetics prognostication disaster risk specialist, argues that the Earth and humankind will make a leap in evolution, with an episode of solar eruptions to take place in September. An acceleration and an increase in electromagnetic energy from the sun and other cosmic energies that will take place from late August to late September, to cause, or around September 28, which is described as a ” frequency shift “in consciousness. Expected cosmic energy is called “X Wave” (Wave X). We experience a “wave of evolution,” says dr. Simon Atkins. “What we’re about to find out at a high level, unheard of in history, scale, is the real answer to the question” Who are we? “,” How come? “And” What is our goal? “. The planet is going to “take off” in such incredible ways, “says Atkins. He stated that the exercise Jade Helm, which began on 15 July and runs until 15 September, is the true purpose of obtaining information on the effects of cosmic energies received in order to better manage the changes it triggers in humanity. This exercise is very much linked to the change of frequency in which small states in which exercises are performed, will face a higher frequency in the field in July and August – the aim being to learn from them and manage effects the population of the larger states in September. Intelligence Community of the United States is aware of the potential effects of cosmic energy input and take steps to manage it. Simon Atkins believes that US special services are not the only entities in the world, conscious of incoming cosmic energies, and also take steps to manage it. A frequency change will take place in September in the 23-28 range, which is very significant. This will coincide with the meeting between Pope Francis US President Barack Obama at the White House (September 23), following the Pope to address the US Congress (September 24). Atkins claims that there will be an attempt to use the famous Geneva CERN (European Council for Nuclear Research) to divert this massive wave of energy that will come. After visiting Washington, Pope Francis will address the world’s political leaders at the UN General Assembly on 25 September. Vatican Information Service is also aware of this wave of cosmic energies. It’s more than a coincidence that the strongest religious and political leaders of the world meet when these energies invade the planet. Effects of Wave X Incoming cosmic energies have profound effects on human DNA and will trigger major discoveries. Atkins argues that some stellar ambassadors stationed on Earth from the Galactic Federation have been appointed delegates to a group of aliens called Being Sphere Alliance. This group came in 2012-2013 with spheres huge size as Neptune, which formed frequency shields around the Sun and solar system. One of the most important functions of these spheres was to adjust the amount of cosmic energy coming into our solar system and the earth so that mankind can integrate better and to prepare for major changes. Among the amendments that will be triggered by the entry of cosmic energies is the release of information on advanced technologies, the secret space program and extraterrestrial life as Corey Goode, a specialist in advanced technologies, known as an empathetic person intuitively described as event “total disclosure”. Goode recently announced that the huge size spheres are about to leave our solar system because they have fulfilled their purpose.There are certainly quite a few other events that occur before the latter event, then we will be left on their own. Atkins announces that on September 28, at 11:11, wave X bombard the earth with gamma-photon light particles, traveling at light speed and producing an instantaneous change in DNA. Of the people at a frequency in the Schumann resonance of at least 17 Hz will be propelled in the 5th dimension. The number of people projected to have a rise in the rate is a little over 2.3 billion, and the exact number depends on the collective conscience of humanity to manifest changes. Cosmic energies have begun to enter and spheres acted as buffer blocks them increasingly less. All this suggests that, at the end of September could be a peak moment in which cosmic energy will produce significant changes in human physiology, thereby triggering a growing mass of beings of light who raised their frequencies at high levels of love self. September 9, 2015 known as “Event Horizon” and is the most important day in human history, says Simon Atkins, stating that this is not the end but the beginning of an ascent mass worldwide, the beings whose vibration passes from the 4th to the 5th dimension. By Kate Ryna Daring, Zon Staff, 08/30/2015

vaenire asked:

I have had that /exact/ thought process with dinosaurs and if they were allowed to evolve differently

yeah I really do wonder what would have happened to them- i mean apart from those who survived to evolve into modern birds. because i feel like mammals wouldn’t have so easily moved into the dominant position without the asteroid basically mowing dinosaurs down like a thousand nuclear bombs! the changes to the climate must have been catastrophic after the impact.

like dinosaurs weren’t lagging behind biologically, they weren’t evolutionarily outcompeted the way it seems neanderthals were. the chicxulub asteroid was just a complete gamechanger that threw out the normal rules of survival of the fittest for the moment. 

Have you ever considered the diversity of flowers? Why do they come in so many different shapes, sizes, and colors? And why do they produce so many different odors – or none at all? Flowering plants evolved around 140 million years ago, a fairly recent emergence evolutionarily speaking. Along with them evolved numerous species of insects, birds, and mammals. In his book, The Triumph of Seeds, Thor Hanson describes the event this way: “In nature, the flowering plants put sex, seeds, and dispersal on full display, spurring not only their own evolution but also that of the animals and insects with which they became so entwined. In most cases, the diversity of dispersers, consumers, parasites – and, most especially, pollinators – rose right alongside that of the plants they depended upon.”

Speaking of dependence, most flowering plants depend upon pollinators for successful reproduction – it is, for the most part, a mutually beneficial relationship. Even the casual observer of flowers will note that a large portion of the creatures that visit them appear to be pollinators. Thus, it is no wonder that pollination biologists have given pollinators so much credit in shaping the flowers that we see today.

Consider G. Ledyard Stebbins and his Most Effective Pollinator Principle which he defined in a paper published in 1970: “the characteristics of the flower will be molded by those pollinators that visit it most frequently and effectively in the region where it is evolving.” He then goes on to reference pollination syndromes, a phenomenon that describes how the traits of flowers are best suited for their “predominant and most effective vector[s].” In my post about pollination syndromes a few months ago, I discussed how a strict adherence to this concept has waned. In the next two posts, I discuss how the Most Effective Pollinator Principle (MEPP) may not be the best way to explain why flowers look the way they do.

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To make this argument I am drawing mainly from two chapters in the book Plant-Pollinator Interactions: From Specialization to Generalization. The first is “Ecological Factors That Promote the Evolution of Generalization in Pollination Systems” by Jose M. Gomez and Regino Zamora, and the second is “The Evolution of Specialized Floral Phenotypes in a Fine-grained Pollination Environment” by Paul A. Aigner.

According to Aigner the MEPP “states that a plant should evolve specializations to its most effective pollinators at the expense of less effective ones.” And according to Gomez and Zamora it “states that natural selection should modify plant phenotypes [observable characteristics derived from interactions between a plant’s genes and its surrounding environment] to increase the frequency of interaction [between] plants and the pollinators that confer the best services,” and so “we would expect the flowers of most plants to be visited predominantly by a reduced group of highly effective pollinators.” This is otherwise known as adaptive specialization.

Specialization is something that, in theory, plants are generally expected to evolve towards, particularly in regards to plant-pollinator relationships. Observations, on the other hand, demonstrate the opposite – that specialization is rare and most flowering plants are generalists. However, the authors of both chapters advise that specialization and generalization are extreme ends to a continuum, and that they are comparative terms. One species may be more specialized than another simply because it is visited by a smaller “assemblage” of pollinators. The diversity of pollinators in that assemblage and the pollinator availability in the environment should also be taken into consideration when deciding whether a relationship is specialized or generalized.

That pollinators can be agents in shaping floral forms and that flowering plant species can become specialized in their interactions with pollinators is not the question. There is evidence enough to say that it occurs. However, that the most abundant and/or effective pollinators are the main agents of selection and that specialization is a sort of climax state in the evolutionary process (as the MEPP seems to suggest) is up for debate. Generalization is more common than specialization, despite observations demonstrating that pollinators are drawn to certain floral phenotypes. So, could generalization be seen as an adaptive strategy?

In exploring this question, Gomez and Zamora first consider what it takes for pollinators to act as selective agents. They determine that “pollinators must first benefit plant fitness,” and that when calculating this benefit, the entire life cycle of the plant should be considered, including seed germination rate, seedling survival, fecundity, etc. The ability of a pollinator species to benefit plant fitness depends on its visitation rate and its per-visit effectiveness (how efficiently pollen is transferred) – put simply, a pollinator’s quantity and quality during pollination. There should also be “among-pollinator differences in the evolutionary effect on the plant,” meaning that one species or group of pollinators – through being more abundant, effective, or both – contributes to greater plant fitness compared to others. “Natural selection will favor those plant traits that attract the most efficient or abundant pollinators and will also favor the evolution of the phenotypes that cause the most abundant pollinators to also be the most effective.” This process implies possible “trade-offs,” which will be discussed in part two.

When pollinators act as selective agents in this way, the MEPP is supported; however, Gomez and Zamora argue that this scenario “only takes place when some restrictive ecological conditions are met” and that while specialization can be seen as the “outcome of strong pollinator-mediated selection,” generalization can also be “mediated by selection exerted by pollinators…in some ecological scenarios.” This is termed adaptive generalization. In situations where ecological forces constrain the development of specialization and pollinators are not seen as active selection agents, nonadaptive generalization may be occurring.

Gomez and Zamora spend much of their chapter exploring “several causes that would fuel the evolution of generalization” both adaptive and nonadaptive, which are outlined briefly below.

  • Spatiotemporal Variability: Temporal variability describes differences in pollinator assemblages over time, both throughout a single year and over several years. Spatial variability describes differences in pollinator assemblages both among populations where gene flow occurs and within populations. Taken together, such variability can have a measurable effect on the ability of a particular pollinator or group of pollinators to act as a selective agent.
  • Similarity among Pollinators: Different pollinator species can have “equivalent abundance and above all comparable effectiveness” making them “functional equivalents from the plant perspective.” This may be the case with both closely and distantly related species. Additionally, a highly effective pollinator can select for floral traits that attract less effective pollinators.
  • The Real Effects on Plant Fitness: An abundant and efficient pollinator may select for one “fitness component” of a plant, but may “lead to a low overall effect on total fitness.” An example being that “a pollinator may benefit seed production by fertilizing many ovules but reduce seedling survival because it causes the ripening of many low-quality seeds.” This is why “as much of the life cycle as possible” should be considered “in assessing pollinator effectiveness.”
  • Other Flower Visitors: Pollinators are not the only visitors of flowers. Herbivores, nectar robbers, seed predators, etc. may be drawn in by the same floral traits as pollinators, and pollinators may be less attracted to flowers that have been visited by such creatures. “Several plant traits are currently thought to be the evolutionary result of conflicting selection exerted by these two kinds of organisms,” and “adaptations to avoid herbivory can constrain the evolution of plant-pollinator interactions.”

This, of course, only scratches the surface of the argument laid out by Gomez and Zamora. If this sort of thing interests you, I highly encourage you to read their chapter. Next week I will summarize Aigner’s chapter. If you have thoughts on this subject or arguments to make please don’t hesitate to comment or contact me directly. This is a dialogue, dudes.

Year of Pollination: Most Effective Pollinator Principle and Beyond, part one Have you ever considered the diversity of flowers? Why do they come in so many different shapes, sizes, and colors?