A quarry site in Nevada carries the evolutionary history of a population of stickleback fish that resided there when it was a freshwater lake.
This animation shows a rotating 3-D image of a stickleback skeleton. The pelvic region, including the pelvic spines, is highlighted in red. Armored plating covers the flanks of the fish. The three prominent dorsal spines give the fish its name.
The rock pocket mouse is found in two color variants, or morphs: light and dark. In different environments, their visibility to predators such as owls varies. The dark morph is more vulnerable on light sandy desert, and the light morph on dark lava rock.
This simulation shows the spread of a favorable mutation through a population of pocket mice. Even a small selective advantage can lead to a rapid evolution of the population.
In the stickleback fish, pelvic-fin reduction resulted from changes in the regulatory switch elements of the Pitx1 gene. In the marine ancestor, the Pitx1 gene is activated in the pelvic-fin region during development to generate the fin. In the pelvic-reduced stickleback, the regulatory...
In two related Drosophila species, a so-called paintbrush gene is activated to "paint" the pigment on the body. In one species, an extra switch activates the gene, resulting in spotted wings.
Regulatory "switches" are found upstream from a gene. Regulatory molecules bind to the switches and recruit RNA polymerase to bind to the gene's promoter region, increasing the transcription of the gene into messenger RNA.
Corn was originally bred from the teosinte plant by native Mexican farmers. The morphologies of modern-day corn and teosinte plants are compared to illustrate how artificial selection can bring about dramatic changes in plants.
An interview with Dr. Carroll.
The many forms of dogs that exist today were all created through selective breeding from the dog's ancestor, the wolf. In a span of less than 10,000 years, breeders have changed traits and body shapes of dogs by artificial selection-for example, emphasizing different aspects of hunting and...
Male courtship dances in two fruit fly species show that the wing spots play a prominent role.
These are some of the animal species Charles Darwin would have seen when he visited the Galapagos Islands.
An interview with Chris Hittinger, a scientist in Dr. Carroll's lab.
An interview with Dr. Kingsley.
An interview with Stephanie Nuñez, a student in Dr. Kingsley's lab.
At the end of the ice age, the retreating ice sheet created many new lakes, some of which were colonized by sticklebacks.
The identity of the stickleback fish stumps the contestants on the game show.
A brief introduction to how stickleback fossils are collected and used to study evolution. It also shows the students who attended the 2005 Holiday Lectures taking part in a fossil-collecting activity.
How has the amazing diversity of plants and animals evolved? What can fossils, butterflies, and stickleback fish tell us about the deep common ancestry of all living forms?
How Darwin came to publish The Origin of Species, and examples of how quickly evolution can change a population.
Comparing the artificial selection of dogs and corn with the natural selection of the stickleback fish.
The genetic mechanisms by which evolution occurs, and an overview of the evidence for evolutionary theory.
How and why butterflies and fruit flies got their spots, and the fossil record for human evolution.
A discussion on reconciling religion and science with students, the lecturers, and guest speakers.
Learn about artificial and natural selection.