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Patterns of Evolution



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Problem : Describe a coevolutionary arms race.

A coevolutionary arms race takes place in a predator-prey relationship when the prey evolves a new defense or the predator evolves a new offense. Each species will evolve a new trait to give them an advantage over the other. When this process occurs with several new adaptations over a short period of time, it is known as a coevolutionary arms race.

Problem : Why is coevolution difficult to prove?

Coevolution is difficult to prove because it requires direct evidence of not one but two species evolving together.

Problem : What do most biologists accept as evidence for coevolution?

Most biologists will accept coadaptation as proof of coevolution in the absence of evidence to the contrary.

Problem : What might be another explanation of coadaptation?

Coadaptation may arise from coevolution, the development of traits in two species in direct relation to each other. However, coadaptation may also occur as a result of two species developing traits independently of each other that then happen to make the species well adapted to each other.

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