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How Natural Selection Works in The Animal Kingdom

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If you're reading this today, you can partly thank natural selection for that. Have you ever wondered why some animals are able to blend in with their environments? Why do horses have four hooves instead of 12 toes? Natural selection takes "survival of the fittest" to the most literal level. During evolution, some species will discover they're prone to undesirable traits. For example, take short-beaked and long-beaked finches from the Galapagos islands. During times of drought, the long-beaked finches tended to survive in higher numbers because their elongated beaks helped them conserve more water. Eventually, the majority of finches that survived the drought were long-beaked, and mated with other long-beaked birds—decimating the short-beaked population.

But what is the difference between natural selection and evolution? What are some of the genetically advantageous traits certain species have developed throughout history? What's a phenotype and how do they influence which species make it and which are doomed to be the next dodo bird? This playlist has all the natural selection essentials you need to figure out how to outlast your genetic competition.

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This video was supported in part by http://www.audible.com/minutephysics Special thanks to Subbable.com supporters Jonathan Kwok and quantumrealityproject.blogspot.com for helping make MinutePhysics possible. http://www.subbable.com/minutephysics US Demographics data: http://www.census.gov/dataviz/ MinutePhysics is on Google+ - http://bit.ly/qzEwc6 And facebook - http://facebook.com/minutephysics And twitter - @minutephysics Minute Physics provides an energetic and entertaining view of old and new problems in physics -- all in a minute! Music by Nathaniel Schroeder http://www.soundcloud.com/drschroeder
01:12
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Selective breeding is when a human picks and chooses specific traits for an organism by cross-breeding organisms with the desired traits. Find out the different between selective breeding and natural selection with insight from a science teacher in this free video on science and nature. Expert: Brian Erickson Contact: Ericksontutoring.blogspot.com Bio: Brian Erickson is a tutor in math and science, as well as a field biologist. Filmmaker: Todd Green
03:04
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Bee population around the world have collapsed. Now scientists are scrambling to find out why. Anthony has a list of the possible causes, and the threat this poses to food supplies worldwide. Read More: Winter Loss Survey 2012 -- 2013: Preliminary Results http://beeinformed.org/2013/05/winter-loss-survey-2012-2013/ "Preliminary survey results indicate that 31.1% of managed honey bee colonies in the United States were lost during the 2012/2013 winter." Honey Constituents Up-Regulate Detoxification and Immunity Genes in the Western Honey Bee Apis Mellifera http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/04/26/1303884110.abstract "As a managed pollinator, the honey bee Apis mellifera is critical to the American agricultural enterprise." Honey Bees and Colony Collapse Disorder http://www.ars.usda.gov/News/docs.htm?docid=15572 "Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is a serious problem threatening the health of honey bees and the economic stability of commercial beekeeping and pollination operations in the United States." Team Finds Substances in Honey that Increase Honey Bee Detox Gene Expression http://phys.org/wire-news/128878194/team-finds-substances-in-honey-that-increase-honey-bee-detox-gen.html#ajTabs "A new study led by Illinois professor of entomology May Berenbaum shows that some components of the nectar and pollen grains bees collect to manufacture food increase expression of detoxification genes that help keep honey bees healthy." Bees & Pesticides: Commission Goes Ahead With Plan to Better Protect Bees http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/liveanimals/bees/neonicotinoids_en.htm "The European Commission will in the coming weeks adopt a proposal to restrict the use of 3 pesticides belonging to the nenicotinoid family (clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiametoxam) for a period of 2 years." Einstein Was Right - Honey Bee Collapse Threatens Global Food Security http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/8306970/Einstein-was-right-honey-bee-collapse-threatens-global-food-security.html "The bee crisis has been treated as a niche concern until now, but as the UN's index of food prices hits an all time-high, it is becoming urgent to know whether the plight of the honey bee risks further exhausting our food security." Disappearing Bees: Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) http://science.howstuffworks.com/zoology/insects-arachnids/bee8.htm "In the spring of 2007, news agencies began to report on a disturbing phenomenon in the bee population." How Colony Collapse Disorder Works http://science.howstuffworks.com/zoology/insects-arachnids/colony-collapse-disorder2.htm "Researchers have sifted through the list of possible Colony Collapse Disorder causes extensively during the past few years and haven't come up with one definitive answer." ____________________ DNews is dedicated to satisfying your curiosity and to bringing you mind-bending stories & perspectives you won't find anywhere else! New videos twice daily. Watch More http://www.youtube.com/dnewschannel Subscribe http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzWQYUVCpZqtN93H8RR44Qw?sub_confirmation=1 DNews Twitter http://twitter.com/dnews Anthony Carboni Twitter http://twitter.com/acarboni Laci Green Twitter http://twitter.com/gogreen18 Trace Dominguez Twitter http://twitter.com/trace501 DNews Facebook http://facebook.com/dnews DNews Google+ http://gplus.to/dnews DNews Website http://discoverynews.com
04:57
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Tweet this video! - http://clicktotweet.com/f9MLy While some animals are so dangerous that they don't require hiding their presence, others rely on deception and camouflage to prevent themselves from meeting a fateful end at the hands (or jaws rather) of a predator. See if you can spot these 25 incredible camouflaged animals in their natural habitats. https://twitter.com/list25 https://www.facebook.com/list25 http://list25.com Check out the text version too! - http://list25.com/25-incredible-camouflaged-animals/ Here's a preview: Bat Faced Toad Common Baron Caterpillar Dead Leaf Mantis Mossy Leaf-Tailed Gecko Dead Leaf Butterfly Stonefish Fantastic Leaf-Tail Gecko Wolf Spider Ghost Mantis Phyllomimus Great Grey Owl Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth Southern Rock Agama Lizard Leafy Sea Dragon Pygmy Seahorse Right Eyed Flounder Orchid Mantis Egyptian Nightjar Cuttlefish Leaf Katydid Chameleon Paradoxophyla Palmata Knobbly Crab Spider Horned Rockdweller Dragonfly Indonesian Mimic Octopus
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02:47
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What color were dinosaurs? Movies depict them to be green and brown, but since we haven't seen a live dinosaur, how can we be sure? Well, Anthony is here to tell you how we might finally have an answer as he breaks down how color in animals evolved over time. Read More: New Research Revises Conventions for Deciphering Color in Dinosaurs While Suggesting Connection between Color and Physiology http://www.utexas.edu/news/2014/02/12/dinosaurs-color-physiology/ "New research that revises recently established conventions allowing scientists to decipher color in dinosaurs may also provide a tool for understanding the evolutionary emergence of flight and changes in dinosaur physiology prior to the origin of flight." Melanosome evolution indicates a key physiological shift within feathered dinosaurs http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature12973.html "Inference of colour patterning in extinct dinosaurs has been based on the relationship between the morphology of melanin-containing organelles (melanosomes) and colour in extant bird feathers." Color In Nature http://royalsociety.org/summer-science/2011/colour-nature/ "Colours in nature are omnipresent and serve an essential role in providing a wide range of signals: 'I am fertile!', 'I am tasty!', 'I am dangerous'." Animal Coloration http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_coloration "Animal coloration is the general appearance of an animal resulting from the reflection or emission of light from its surfaces." Why Do Animals, Especially Males, Have So Many Different Colors http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/why-do-animals-especially-males-111815.aspx?link_page_rss=111815 "Why do so many animal species - including fish, birds and insects - display such rich diversity in coloration and other traits?" Melanosomes - Dark Organelles Enlighten Endosomal Membrane Transport http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2786984/ "Melanosomes are tissue-specific "lysosome-related" organelles of pigment cells in which melanins are synthesized and stored." Melanosome http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melanosome "A melanosome is an organelle found in animal cells, and is the cellular site of synthesis, storage and transport of melanin, the most common light-absorbing pigment found in the animal kingdom." True-Color Dinosaur Revealed: First Full-Body Rendering http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/01/100127-dinosaurs-color-feathers-science/o/ "For the first time, scientists have decoded the full-body color patterns of a dinosaur, a new study in the journal Science says." Dinosaur Colour http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinosaur_colour "Dinosaur colour is one of the mysteries surrounding dinosaurs." What Color Were Dinosaurs? Test Of Ancient Skin Sample Will Reveal Final Answer http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/1649/20130429/what-color-dinosaurs-test-ancient-skin-sample-will-reveal-final.htm "Our books and films have long depicted dinosaurs to be some shade of green or brown- and for all we know, that might be accurate." Maniraptora http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/diapsids/saurischia/maniraptora.html "We all know now that birds are dinosaurs, right?" Watch More: Make Fractal Patterns With Electricity http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1I1hV8_aL4w TestTube Wild Card http://testtube.com/dnews/dnews-452-time-perception?utm_campaign=DNWC&utm_medium=DNews&utm_source=YT Million Year Old Footprints Found http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54e5Bz7m3do ____________________ DNews is dedicated to satisfying your curiosity and to bringing you mind-bending stories & perspectives you won't find anywhere else! New videos twice daily. Watch More DNews on TestTube http://testtube.com/dnews Subscribe now! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=dnewschannel DNews on Twitter http://twitter.com/dnews Anthony Carboni on Twitter http://twitter.com/acarboni Laci Green on Twitter http://twitter.com/gogreen18 Trace Dominguez on Twitter http://twitter.com/trace501 DNews on Facebook https://facebook.com/DiscoveryNews DNews on Google+ http://gplus.to/dnews Discovery News http://discoverynews.com
03:30
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Theoretical Physicist Lee Smolin argues that the fundamental laws of physics are subject to evolutionary pressures akin to natural selection. SUBSCRIBE to Big Think: http://goo.gl/cZlhxI Watch more YouTube Geek Week videos at http://youtube.com/geekweek Transcript -- Physics is about discovering what the laws of nature are. And we've gone some distance towards that. We're not done but we've gone some good distance towards that at the present time. But once you know what the laws of nature are, another kind of question unfolds itself which is why are those the laws and not other laws. For example, the laws that we understand -- the standard model of particle physics describes all the fundamental particles and their interactions -- has about 30 numbers which you just have to put in as the result of measuring them by experiment. The masses of the different particles, the quarks, the electrons, the neutrinos, the strengths of the fundamental force -- various numbers like that. And the model works dramatically well as the recent experiments the Large Hadron Collider show. Why are those numbers what they are in our universe? Why is the mass of the electron what it is and not 12 times larger or half the size? There are dozens of questions like this. So I developed cosmological natural selection to try to give an evolutionary account of this so that there would be a history back before the Big Bang in which these numbers could change and evolve through a series of events like the Big Bang. And there could be an explanation akin to natural selection. Just like you want to know why do people have two legs and not three legs or five legs or four legs or six legs. There's an evolutionary reason for that. A certain kind of fitness has been improved over many, many generations and similarly there could be a notion of fitness of the laws of nature through approval of many generations. And cosmological natural selection was an example of the theory of that kind. I realized that the only methodology we had in science, or the best methodology we had in science for explaining how choices have been made in the system to all lead to a lot of structure because one of the mysteries is why our universe is so structured as it is on so many scales from organic molecules and biomolecules up to vast arrays of clusters of galaxies. There's enormous structure on such a wide range of scales. And that turns out to be tied to the values of these constants of the standard model of particle physics. And so why is that? And I realized that the only methodology that was really successful for explaining how choices were made in nature such as to lead to an improbable amount of structure is natural selection. So for natural selection we need reproduction. And there was a hypothesis lying around that universes reproduce through Black Holes, that inside Black Holes rather than there being singularities where time ends, there were basically the births of new regions of space and time which could become new universes. And I took over that hypothesis and took over the hypothesis that maybe the laws of nature changed slightly which has been made by Johnny Wheeler in the 1960s, and just added a little bit which is that those changes should be very small so that there can be an accumulation of fitness. Which leads to a prediction or an observation that after many, many generations the population of the universes should be fine-tuned to maximize the production of Black Holes. And that has further implications for things that we can actually try to measure and disprove experimentally. So that's, very briefly, the idea of cosmological natural selection. Directed / Produced by Jonathan Fowler and Elizabeth Rodd
02:02
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Check out Bas Rutten's Liver Shot on MMA Surge: http://bit.ly/MMASurgeEp1 Adjunct Professor Mary Poffenroth teaches various topics in biology in a series of Mahalo-produced videos. In this installment, Professor Poffenroth explains natural selection. She makes the point that evolution is a process affecting populations of organisms, not individuals. Professor Poffenroth explains how mutations  are chance events, not willed by the organism. Natural selection is the process by which organisms that possess certain traits tend to survive longer and produce more offspring than organisms that lack these traits.  Over many generations, those traits that confer fitness (that is, comparative success at survival and reproduction) are likely to increase in frequency in the population.  Since environmental conditions are always in flux, it is not always possible to predict beforehand which traits will confer a survival advantage.  A trait that enhances fitness in one environment can decrease fitness if the environment changes or if the population migrates to a new environment. http://bioweb.cs.earlham.edu/9-12/evolution/HTML/theory.html   The Darwinian theory of random mutation as the engine of natural selection replaced the earlier Lamarckian theory of inheritance of acquired traits.  In Lamarck's theory, organisms were thought to be capable of evolving by force of will, intentionally modifying their behavior, then passing these modifications on to their offspring.  In Darwin's theory, the variations are chance mutations over which the organisms have no intentional control.  According to the current evolutionary model, the variations in traits that the environment selects for or selects against are, in the first place, random accidents of birth.   Although it is tempting to see modern species as having "advanced" or "improved" over their ancestral forms along an upward trajectory, there is no proposed mechanism for this sort of directional change in Darwinian theory.  There are only random changes that are likely to spread through a population over multiple generations if they prove beneficial to the organism, versus equally random mutations that are culled by the environment when they fail to provide any survival advantage. http://bioweb.cs.earlham.edu/9-12/evolution/HTML/theory.html Natural Selection and Environmental Change --------------------------------------------------------------------- Traits that have served as adaptations for many generations may become less adaptive as the environment changes.   Desertification of once lush areas or the formation of mountains in areas that were once flat are examples of gradual changes that may take hundreds or millions of years.  Catastrophic changes, such as those brought by floods, volcanoes, fires, plagues, or the introduction of invasive species, are changes that can happen over short periods.  Evolutionary change can also occur when a population migrates to a new environment.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjgNT0rBy_8&feature=player_embedded  Speciation events, or the branching of a single species into two distinct species, occur when a breeding population is separated into two populations that no longer interbreed.  The separation can be due to an environmental barrier.  Two populations that share a common ancestry may eventually become distinct species over many generations, as they evolve in different environments. http://bioweb.cs.earlham.edu/9-12/evolution/HTML/theory.html  Natural Selection and Random Mutation --------------------------------------------------------------------- Although factors in the environment influence which traits become more prevalent in a population over generations and which traits die out, the environment does not have a causal influence on which mutations occur in the first place. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjgNT0rBy_8&feature=player_embedded   In Professor Poffenroth's example of an animal being born with web feet to a population of animals that lack web feet, the feet would be maladaptive and less likely to be passed on to subsequent generations if the animals need to walk on dry land.  Only when the territory is flooded do the web feet prove advantageous for swimming.  What was a burden in the first environmental condition becomes an asset in the new environment. Note that the creature did not will itself to grow web feet, nor was there any input from the environment to cause the mutation that it would later prove useful for swimming.  Instead, the mutation was a random occurrence and merely proved useful... Read more by visiting our page at: http://www.mahalo.com/learn-biology-natural-selection/
01:30
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The famed evolutionary biologist summarizes his research into the genetic basis of evolution. Question: What is the central tenet of your book, The Selfish Gene? Richard Dawkins: Natural selection chooses among self-replicating entities. Those self-replicating entities have some kind of power over their probability of being copied, of being replicated, of being passed on. In practice that almost always means choosing between alternative DNA genes. So it's about the natural selection, the disproportionate -- it's about the unequal survival of genes through generations. That is natural selection. We see it in the form of changes of phenotypes; that's to say changes in bodies, because it's through the changes in the bodies that the genes induce, that they insure their survival or fail to survive. The ones that are good at surviving are the ones that are good at building bodies that are good at surviving and reproducing. Question: What does it mean that we're gene machines? Richard Dawkins: We're gene machines in the sense that a body is constructed by genes that have been successful in surviving in the past; they're good at surviving because they're good at constructing machines in which they survive. So a body is a machine for the propagation of the genes that built it.  Recorded on: October 21, 2009. Interviewed by Paul Hoffman.
03:03
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Can evolution occur without a competition between animals, fighting to survive? After all, that was one of the key elements to Darwin's Theory of Evolution. But as Trace tells us, modern scientists have found that evolution is not so straightforward. Read More: Can Evolution Still Happen Without Competition? http://io9.com/can-evolution-still-happen-without-competition-484353547 "A new theory proposed by two computer scientists suggests that animals can still experience significant evolutionary changes over time, even in the absence of selectional pressures." Evolvability Is Inevitable: Increasing Evolvability without the Pressure to Adapt http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0062186 "Why evolvability appears to have increased over evolutionary time is an important unresolved biological question." It's Not Survival of the Fittest: Evolution Occurs Without Competition http://www.scienceworldreport.com/articles/6501/20130427/survival-fittest-evolution-occurs-without-competition.htm "Computer scientists have discovered that the popular explanation of competition to survive in nature may not actually be necessary for evolvability to increase." "Why Did Crocodiles Stop Evolving? http://sciencefocus.com/qa/why-did-crocodiles-stop-evolving "They didn't. Nothing that's still alive has stopped evolving." Why Haven't All Primates Evolved into Humans? http://www.lifeslittlemysteries.com/417-why-havent-all-primates-evolved-into-humans.html "Humans did not evolve from apes, gorillas or chimps." ____________________ DNews is dedicated to satisfying your curiosity and to bringing you mind-bending stories & perspectives you won't find anywhere else! New videos twice daily. Watch More http://www.youtube.com/dnewschannel Subscribe http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzWQYUVCpZqtN93H8RR44Qw?sub_confirmation=1 DNews Twitter http://twitter.com/dnews Anthony Carboni Twitter http://twitter.com/acarboni Laci Green Twitter http://twitter.com/gogreen18 Trace Dominguez Twitter http://twitter.com/trace501 DNews Facebook http://facebook.com/dnews DNews Google+ http://gplus.to/dnews DNews Website http://discoverynews.com
03:43
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Have you ever considered why animals glow? Many species are able to create mesmerising illuminations but why do they go to all the trouble and just how to they create light? Maddie Moate enlightens us. Even humans emit light! http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0006256 Subscribe to Earth Unplugged -- http://goo.gl/VK1MH Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EarthUnplugged Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/earthunplugged Google+: http://goo.gl/RKq6q http://www.youtube.com/user/EarthUnpl... http://www.youtube.com/subscription_c... Zoo La La is the show that examines the most incredible animal behaviour from all over the world. Patrick Aryee, Maddie Moate and Simon Baxter ask the questions that that you've always wanted to know the answer to, as well as some you didn't even know to ask!
01:47
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On Animal Planet's series "Fooled by Nature," When attacked the cobra spits venom up to 8 feet in order to blind the enemy. It's venom is a neurotoxin which can produce pain and blindness.
12:45
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Hank guides us through the process of natural selection, the key mechanism of evolution. Crash Course Biology is now available on DVD! http://dftba.com/product/1av/CrashCourse-Biology-The-Complete-Series-DVD-Set Like CrashCourse on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/YouTubeCrashCourse Follow CrashCourse on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/theCrashCourse Table of Contents: 1) Natural Selection 1:27 2) Adaptation 2:56 3) Fitness 3:36 4) Four Principals 3:54 a. Variations 4:01 b. Heritability 4:17 c. "The Struggle for Existence" 4:25 d. Survival and Reproductive Rates 5:00 5) Biolography 5:59 6) Modes of Selection 7:40 a. Directional Selection 8:17 b. Stabilizing Selection 8:56 c. Disruptive Selection 9:27 7) Sexual Selection 10:22 8) Artificial Selection 11:24 References for this episode can be found in the Google document here: http://dft.ba/-2Ank This video uses the following sounds from Freesound.org: "20071104.forest.04.binaural.mp3" by dobroide "ForestBirds.wav" by HerbertBoland crashcourse, science, biology, natural selection, genetics, peppered moth, inherited traits, population genetics, charles darwin, darwin, on the origin of species, evolution, adaptation, galapagos finches, fitness, variation, phenotype, heritable, malthus, survival rate, reproductive rate, crossbreeding, inbreeding, genotype, directional selection, stabilizing selection, disruptive selection, selective pressures, sexual selection, artificial selection, selective breeding Support CrashCourse on Subbable: http://subbable.com/crashcourse