What Darwin Never Knew

Something that I found pretty interesting in the documentary was the genetic mutation. Small little changes in animals DNA that adapts them to their situation more. There are two kinds of DNA mutations; one is inherited from a parent while the other happens during the animals’ lifetime. The parent mutation usually is an adaptation to the environment that the animal lives in, like the brown fur mouse that mutated into the black fur one because of the color of the environment where they live. Mutations that happen during an animal’s lifetime can be cause by any number of things, environmental factors (ultraviolet radiation) or when DNA copies itself during cell division.

Genetic mutations can be both a good thing and a bad thing. Because there are thousands of proteins that all have to act a certain way together, there are a ton of different know mutations. More than 4,000 disease stem from mutated genes inherited from the parents. Almost all of them disorders have negative impacts, such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s. Some like lactose intolerance however, are actually good things. Some of the most common genetic mutations are baldness, lactose intolerance, pimples, high fertility, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, color blindness, cancer, dimples, freckles, red hair, and blue eyes.

The word mutation can be replaced by the word adaptation. Many organisms have mutated to survive better in there areas. Plants have adapted to living in the hot, dry desert by storing water in their stems and leaves. Another adaptation is migration. Thousands of animals migrate at different parts of the year so they can survive though the climates they can’t handle. Some adaptations are called exaptations. This is where and adaptation occurred for one reason, but it is used for another. An example of this is feathers. Scientists believe feathers were an adaptation first to keep animals warm that now is used for flight. Image

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