Welcome back to Science Sunday! (I always say that in my head in Bill Nye's voice, in case anyone's wondering.) Anyhow, before we start, let me announce the winner of the pay-it-forward giveaway I had going on last week:
Major congrats to: Andi for winning the bracelet, and Lorrie for the first chapter critique!
I loved hearing about all your strengths and found it really inspiring, so thanks a million to all those who shared. (And winners, please shoot me an email, m'k?) I also realized I didn't join in on the fun with sharing strengths, and so I thought I'd just say that my biggest strength (and sometimes my biggest weakness) is that I'm really determined. Once I start something, I will finish it, by hook or by crook! :)
|The nose is great for holding up glasses, but that's not what|
it been adapted for. The nose shape is actually really
adapted for climate, specifically humidity!
In general, an adaptation is something that has the appearance of being designed to fulfill a function that in some way will benefit an individual's reproductive success (as in, being able to pass along genes).
Umm, okay, what is that? Well, it's actually a bit tricky, but there are traits that allow for individuals to survive and do well, and therefore reproduce. The example I always give in class (which is actually kind of dumb, but hey, it works) is that a baby bird is often really noisy when it wants to get fed and its parent is bringing back worms and such for it. Being noisy is an adaptation that allows for the chick to gain attention from its parent and get food so it has enough nutrients to grow up.
These trade-offs are pretty important, actually, and something I find interesting. I mean, modern humans have a lot of them. Take living in big communities: they are a great adaptation for having a support network in bad times, but also lead to all kinds of communal diseases being spread around easily (such as that awesome flu that everyone in my department currently has). Can you think of any other trade offs we might have?