Polymorphism


    Bryozoan basics
    November 7, 2016
    Bryozoans are a phylum of colonial animals. They first appear in the fossil record during the early Ordovician (~480 million years ago.) Since that time, bryozoans have been a major component of the fossil record and of marine communities. Their colonies are modular, with individual animals, called zooids, forming the...
    Evolutionary determinants of morphological polymorphism in colonial animals
    April 20, 2016
    Simpson, C., Jackson, J. B. C., Herrera-Cubilla, A. 2017. Evolutionary determinants of morphological polymorphism in colonial animals. American Naturalist. 190(1): 17-28. link Preprint version available at bioRxiv doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/046409 pdf Colonial animals commonly exhibit morphologically polymorphic modular units that are phenotypically distinct and specialize in specific functional tasks. But how...
    The evolutionary history of division of labour
    April 10, 2015
    Simpson, C. 2012. The evolutionary history of division of labour. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 279:116–121. pdf Functional specialization, or division of labour (DOL), of parts within organisms and colonies is common in most multi-cellular, colonial and social organisms, but it is far from ubiquitous. Several mechanisms...
    Expansion and the hierarchical structure of levels of selection
    September 21, 2013
    Evolutionary success comes to the selfish—or so most biologists are taught. Those organisms that reproduce most will of course be better represented in future generations. Current theory has had great success using this fact to understand much of evolution, but it hits a wall when it comes to understanding how...