June 3, 2016


Killer Whale Culture Shapes Their Evolution (Nathaniel Scharping, June 3, 2016, Discovery)

When it comes to evolution in modern humans, environmental pressures have almost all been accounted for -- instead of adapting our bodies we can come up with technological solutions that work just as well. But our culture, the shared set of activities, behaviors and beliefs that define our lives, still provides a degree of variation that could serve to imprint itself on our bodies in the long term.

Culture extends to other animals, too. Social groups often display patterns of behavior unique to their subset of the population, and these behaviors are passed down to subsequent generations. Conducting research in killer whales, or orcas, researchers have now discovered that certain elements of their culture have exerted evolutionary pressure on the whales, altering their genes in concordance with specific behaviors.

Posted by at June 3, 2016 6:41 PM


« ...CHEAPER...: | Main | A TIME FOR CHOOSING: »