Who needs night vision? When evolution means going blind

Becoming eyeless is an adaptation of sorts, no?

ScienceDaily (Sep. 15, 2010) – University of Maryland biologists have identified how changes in both behavior and genetics led to the evolution of the Mexican blind cavefish (Astyanax mexicanus) from its sighted, surface-dwelling ancestor. In research published in the August 12, 2010 online edition of the journal Current Biology, Professor William Jeffery, together with postdoctoral associates Masato Yoshizawa, and Å pela Goricki, and Assistant Professor Daphne Soares in the Department of Biology, provide new information that shows how behavioral and genetic traits coevolved to compensate for the loss of vision in cavefish and to help them find food in darkness.

This is the first time that a clear link has been identified between behavior, genetics, and evolution in Mexican blind cavefish, which are considered an excellent model for studying evolution.

Actually, to the extent that the cavefish lost a trait rather than gained one, what we are studying here is devolution rather than evolution. Just how the main different types of eye evolved is a fascinating topic. How traits can get lost is interesting too, but not as relevant to the question of how great gains in information really occur.

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Denyse O'Leary is co-author of The Spiritual Brain.

2 thoughts on “Who needs night vision? When evolution means going blind

  1. There is no such thing as “devolution”. That concept has no meaning in biology. It is evolution.

  2. Questo un RPG, Alone in the dark un gioco d’azione.Il paragone non molto rcisiuto.Qui inoltre la grafica gi ottima, direi che gi in partenza questo gioco promette bene. Comunque meglio non fidarsi di niente, che meglio.. : )

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