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Thread: Evolution & Phenology

  1. #1 Evolution & Phenology 
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
    Driving in my car
    Man oh man I found it tough to find scholarly reports on how Earth's 4 seasons affected evolution. Plenty of articles on human evolution and weather plus a multitude of papers re current global warming. From this article on global warming's effect on evolution I got this:

    phenology refers to the timing of seasonal activities of animals and plants throughout the year). Examples of phenological events in animals include migration, hibernation, mating, and change of coat color to match winter snow
    What got me interested in this topic was hearing about planets that have no seasons (or 1 season if you prefer) and those that have many. I don't know the answer to this next question but would the evolution of life be greater, as in variety of species & adaptations, on a planet with more seasons than those with less? IOW's, does the more seasons a planet has get translated into more evolution/adaptation taking place amongst living organisms?

    Of course if it does mean more evolution takes place with more seasons, then would something like us hairless apes be more apt to evolve on Earth than a planet with no seasons?

    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  3. #2  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
    Washington State, USA
    I would suggest looking up the papers:
    "Why mountains passes are higher in the Tropics" By Janzen 1967
    "Seasonality, montane beta diversity, and Eocene insects: Testing Janzen's dispersal hypothesis in an equable world" by Archibald, Greenwood, and Mathewes 2013

    They cover biodiversity and its relationship to seasonal shifts well.

    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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