Lesson summary for:
Fire ants invade and evolve
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Understanding the evolution of fire ants may help scientists control the spread of these pests, which have already taken over much of the U.S.
UC Museum of Paleontology
- Evolution results from natural selection acting upon genetic variation within a population.
- Natural selection acts on phenotype as an expression of genotype.
- Inherited characteristics affect the likelihood of an organismís survival and reproduction.
- Over time, the proportion of individuals with advantageous characteristics may increase (and the proportion with disadvantageous characteristics may decrease) due to their likelihood of surviving and reproducing.
- Traits that confer an advantage may persist in the population and are called adaptations.
- Depending on environmental conditions, inherited characteristics may be advantageous, neutral, or detrimental.
- A hallmark of science is exposing ideas to testing.
- Scientists test their ideas using multiple lines of evidence.
- Scientists use multiple research methods (experiments, observational research, comparative research, and modeling) to collect data.
- Scientists can test ideas about events and processes long past, very distant, and not directly observable.
- Our understanding of life through time is based upon multiple lines of evidence.
- As with other scientific disciplines, evolutionary biology has applications that factor into everyday life, for example in agriculture, biodiversity and conservation biology, and medicine and health.
- Scientists use experimental evidence to study evolutionary processes.
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