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Thread: Its been a long time since a mosquito tried to evolve into an elephant.

  1. #1 Its been a long time since a mosquito tried to evolve into an elephant. 
    The Enchanter westwind's Avatar
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    I havn't noticed any of our current Fauna and Flora evolving into anything other than what they are, and have been in the Natural State of affairs for millions of years. I could whatch a mosquito all day, keep him or her in a jar for a month, still no sign of mutation. Now a rat and a frog have similar organ functions. Their environment can be compared. No matter how much time goes by we are still going to have a rat and a frog at the end of the day. Mating is not fertility in different Specie, can't leave a garden fork and a shovel alone together and expect to get a wheelbarrow. Looks like to me that all Specie, however created originally, are doomed to stay the same old same old. It wouldn't do to have your pet dog change into a cat, you know how fussy cats are when offered dog food. westwind, sober westwind.


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  3. #2  
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    Individuals don't evolve - so that's a waste of time.

    All the time you've been alive, mutations have been occurring in mosquito populations. Otherwise none of them would be resistant to pesticides would they?


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  4. #3  
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    You can't really be as ignorant as you sound. Evolution does not change individuals but populations and it changes them over generations. Still changed mosquitos are appearing and it is change in the direction of mosquitos better able to survive in their curent environment ie one with insectacides
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  5. #4  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by westwind View Post
    Looks like to me that all Specie, however created originally, are doomed to stay the same old same old.
    Well, we have seen species change and we have seen new species arise. So, no.
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    Quote Originally Posted by westwind View Post
    I could watch a mosquito all day, keep him or her in a jar for a month, still no sign of mutation.
    C'mon man, use your noggin. You, me and everything that has either breathed, eaten, or shit has been in a jar for over 3 billion years.
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  7. #6  
    The Enchanter westwind's Avatar
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    Surely that's adaption adelady? I'm saying here that any one given Specie will always be that Specie, with plenty of evolving adaptions granted, but at the end of the day, or year, or million years will still be the original Specie, how be it with a lot of survival adaptations now incorporated. westwind.
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  8. #7  
    The Enchanter westwind's Avatar
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    Poste (4). For Strange. Specie do change. Or rather they adapt to survive in changed conditions. They might adapt, by survival of the fittest of their Specie, to enable them to run faster, go without water for a week, evolve a stronger mating call, but they do not turn into something else. New Specie are discovered every year or so. But they have been there all the time waiting to be discovered. I'm not talking about genetic manipulation here, you know that, or selective breeding programmes---breeds of dogs etc. How long have Bats been around? I wouldn't like to sleep upside down, but they have been happy doing that for a very very long time. They can't sleep in a bed like us, because they are Bats. westwind.
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  9. #8  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by westwind View Post
    New Specie are discovered every year or so. But they have been there all the time waiting to be discovered.
    We have fossil records of new species appearing (and disappearing). We have also seen new species appear (not just discovered but examples of speciation).
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by westwind View Post
    Surely that's adaption adelady? I'm saying here that any one given Specie will always be that Specie, with plenty of evolving adaptions granted, but at the end of the day, or year, or million years will still be the original Specie, how be it with a lot of survival adaptations now incorporated. westwind.
    No, it won't. One dividing line between species is the ability to interbreed. Over enough generations, enough genetic changes accrue that a descendant could no longer breed with one of its own ancestors. Also, different branches of the "family tree" undergo different changes, thus descendants of the same ancestor can separate into different species if they separated from each other and don't crossbreed. This is how the other apes and ourselves separated into different species( this took 5-10 million years).
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  11. #10  
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    They might adapt, by survival of the fittest of their Specie, to enable them to run faster, go without water for a week, evolve a stronger mating call, but they do not turn into something else.
    Well, no. This video neatly shows how animals start speciation - ring species.

    Ring species -- the abridged version - YouTubeOnce you get to the point where obviously related animals can no longer mate or reproduce, it's not hard to see how many hundreds or thousands more such splits could result in different animals entirely.

    Let's face it, there was once an evolutionary step resulting in marsupials and mammals. We weren't there at the time. Somehow or other, we evolved from other mammals - and so did bats, zebras, lemurs. Marsupials took another path.
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  12. #11  
    The Enchanter westwind's Avatar
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    Dear adelady. Thank you for the you Tube video. Just raised one Question in my mind. Let us say so not to be descriminatory, we have Human 500. And, in another Region on this Planet, on the antipodal side if you like, we have human 900. For millions of years their paths have never crossed. Human 500 is a Temperant ( warm Climate ) Human. Human 900 has always dwelt in the Arctic Circle. Now, we arrange a meeting, and lace their coffee with Viagra. Would it be fair to suggest there may be an offspring? westwind.
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    If they're both taking viagra, they're both male, so no, we wouldn't expect offspring.

    On the other hand, should a homo erectus mate with a homo hablis, we wouldn't expect to see offspring.
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  14. #13  
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    Dear AlexG. I''ll drink to that. Well spotted. And a gentleman as well. westwind.
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  15. #14  
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    This makes me think of something similar. But i'll change the criteria.

    How long would it take for a random creature, to evolve into another random creature?

    Taking into account, the most preferable selective criteria, the most dumbfound luck, and an immense amount of offspring to chose from.

    Let's say, a mosquito lives in an enviroment that is PERFECT for elephants. Theoretically the mosquito should be able to end up there somehow. Though i'm still struggling with the genetic junk DNA formation of phenotypes.

    What would happen first, in the mosquito's struggle in becoming an elephant. Would it become a plant eater? Become a vertebrate? Lose it's ability to fly?
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  16. #15  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Since the route to being an elephant did not initally involve (for hundreds of millions of years) being in an environment suitable for elephants then there would be no apparent means by which a mosquito could so evolve.
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  17. #16  
    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
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    Hmm, this may be true. But life all evolved from single celled organisms, and even proposed from the same single celled organism. The mosquito can still evolve into an elephant, given enough time, and the precise means to make this happen.

    As a geneticist, i can see the lines, extinctions, adaptations, and i can't see why it can't reverse. Not reverse the exact way as it went forward, but still less specific, until it can specify into an elephant.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  18. #17  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    And you must therefore see that to make those changes it would have to experience a wide range of environmental conditions in a specific order. This invalidates your thought experiment wherein a mosquito placed in an environment ideal for elephants turns into an elephant. In such an environment it is much more likely to turn into a mosquito that can penetrate the skin of a pachyderm.
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  19. #18  
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    That is totally true. To bad the mosquito as a parasitic breeder isn't a good subject. As it needs water and warmblooded animals to reproduce and flowers and nectar to survive. What if it were something different.

    We take a Stag beetle, and want to make it evolve into a deer. Due to a computer model the estimated time should be extrapolated on the most ideal conditions, or on the least, so it would take a longer time.

    Or. We take the same beetle, and release it into the world like it is now, without any other animals, just plants. Where would it evolve into?
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  20. #19  
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    Where would it evolve into?
    I could be wrong. But your formulation of these questions sounds a lot like some stuff I've read elsewhere.

    Evolution has no direction, no purpose, no trajectory, no pattern, no scheme.

    Evolution is simply what happens with living, self-reproducing organisms in various conditions and environments. We've given the various processes names to suit our own purposes of understanding the world around us. Evolution never needed a name. Nor did mutation or extinction or any other of the various processes and outcomes we've managed to identify.

    The sort of thing you're talking about is what breeders of livestock or domestic pets do. Look for ways to produce an animal with certain characteristics. That's not part of the picture of the natural un-managed reproductive world.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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  21. #20  
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    You are not going to make a stag beetle evolve into a deer.

    But what can happen is that, where an ecological niche is available, another species can evolve to occupy that niche. We have seen this happen in New Zealand. Before the first humans arrived, there were no rodents. Several totally unrelated species started evolving towards a rodent-like lifestyle.

    The weta is an insect, in the grasshopper family. One line has evolved giantism, becoming the giant weta. Giant weta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    It is thought by biologists, that this evolution is towards occupying the niche elsewhere held by mice. A mouse sized insect.

    At the same time, we have a small bat species that is evolving towards flightlessness, and spending its time in leaf litter, just like a mouse.

    But the insect remains an insect. It evolves towards the mouse niche, not towards becoming a mouse. The bat is still a bat. Not a rodent.
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  22. #21  
    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
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    My whole point was... Somehow something evolved into something. While the same something evolved into something else.

    A evolved into B. So A=B (adding 1 billion years). And A also evolved into C. So A=C (adding 1 billion years). Then 2A=BC (adding 2 billion years) And B=C (adding 2 billion years).


    I understand all your points, a bat is a bad, an insect is an insect. So the insect has always been? Nothing ever evolved into an insect? Then you understand my scepticism when i don't believe it's impossible to simply go the other way. As long as both organisms are around the same effectiveness (proteins work at an equal efficiency etc), i can still see it happening.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    At the same time, we have a small bat species that is evolving towards flightlessness, and spending its time in leaf litter, just like a mouse.
    what kind of bat is that? im curious.

    now on the point, i think if retro-evolutionize it to both common ancestors, and follow the same evolutionary path as the other animal, you have a mosquito, turned into an elephant. thank you *takes bow*
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  24. #23  
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    What kind of bat?
    New Zealand short-tailed bat facts: Native animal conservation

    Re mosquito to elephant.
    Absolutely not. The elephant is a mammal of the order Probiscoidea.
    The mosquito is an insect - a member of the Arthropoda, or jointed legged animals.

    An elephant is warm blooded with an internal skeleton.
    The mosquito is cold blooded with an external skeleton.

    One will not evolve into the other.
    Given time, and an unusual set of environmental changes, we could perhaps envisage a mosquito becoming a herbivore, and evolving large size to consume vegetation. Unlikely, but possible. But it would still be an arthropod with jointed legs and an external skeleton.
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  25. #24  
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    thanks for the link! i agree, and disagree, skeptic. if you take them both back and find the common ancestor, you can retrace down a separate path and get to the same animal. how ever, if you are trying to directly transform them, it would be impossible.
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    Interesting discussion. I recommend reading Richard Dawkins' The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution. The book considers evolutionary relatedness by going backwards in time to common ancestors - good way to expand one's mind on the subject.
    "Don't kick a fresh turd on a hot day." Harry S Truman
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    "dont kick a fresh turd on a hot day"
    omg i love that so much! you just made my day!
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  28. #27  
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    Awww thanks!!!!
    "Don't kick a fresh turd on a hot day." Harry S Truman
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  29. #28  
    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    One will not evolve into the other.
    Given time, and an unusual set of environmental changes, we could perhaps envisage a mosquito becoming a herbivore, and evolving large size to consume vegetation. Unlikely, but possible. But it would still be an arthropod with jointed legs and an external skeleton.
    I don't get it. A singlecelled organism can evolve into an insect. But the insect can't evolve into something further then an insect. It will always be an arthropod?

    Why can't it evolve? As if something can't shake off some of it's ancestry. Very weird. Got anything to support this?

    As where to stop? What borders can't be crossed?
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  30. #29  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Zwolver

    There are many things it can evolve into. But evolution does not go backwards.
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  31. #30  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Zwolver

    There are many things it can evolve into. But evolution does not go backwards.
    It can in some ways, but would just be called evolution.

    I agree though, I can't see a a path from an arthropod to a large mammal. Arthropods have inherent limitations that preclude them from evolving into large, endoskeleton mammals. It would have to start from scratch almost.

    Evolution does have limits. Everything is not possible given enough time.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  32. #31  
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Zwolver

    There are many things it can evolve into. But evolution does not go backwards.
    It can in some ways, but would just be called evolution.

    I agree though, I can't see a a path from an arthropod to a large mammal. Arthropods have inherent limitations that preclude them from evolving into large, endoskeleton mammals. It would have to start from scratch almost.

    Evolution does have limits. Everything is not possible given enough time.
    Then maybe my imagination is berzerk, as i can imagine a way where a mosquito can evolve into a mammal. As all it needs to classify as a mammal is to care for it's young and give them milk, and probably be warmblooded. It can step off it's parasitic lifechain. And it can grow a heart, and pump air or a bloodlike substance around it's body. Then, it can become warmblooded, and it can get skin instead of carapace. Then it can grow about any size. Though i can not yet see a way for a skelleton to form. Maybe the carapace gets slowly smaller and more robust, and does not cover the entire body, and then grows inwards?

    I think i just believed to much in wishfull thinking. As it happened once, it can happen again, no matter if backwards. We are not that much better then the first life evolved on the planet. We are more specified though, and .... smarter....
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  33. #32  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    You seem to be confusing convergent evolution with linear evolution. An ichthyosaur was not a fish. A dolphin is not a fish. A mosquito that evolves to have some characteristics of mammals is not a mammal.
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