Evolution: Animations (Howard Hughes Medical Institute)
From the 2005 Holiday Lectures — Evolution: Constant Change and Common Threads
Becoming Human is an interactive documentary experience that tells the story of our origins. Journey through four million year of human evolution with your guide, Donald Johanson.
Evolutionary Time and General
Fossil Record of Stickleback Evolution
A quarry site in Nevada carries the evolutionary history of a population of stickleback fish that resided there when it was a freshwater lake. In a short time span in evolutionary terms—about 10,000 years—the fish population can be seen to dramatically reduce the size of their pelvic spines. This particular fossil record is remarkably complete with nearly year-by-year detail which includes documentation of intermediate forms.
Fossil Record of Stickleback Evolution (Howard Hughes Medical Institute)
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.
Gene Switch (Howard Hughes Medical Institute)
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 switch that normally turns on the Pitx1 gene is either missing or non-functional.
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.
Paintbrush Gene (Howard Hughes Medical Institute)
Pocket Mouse and Predation
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.
Pocket Mouse and Predation (Howard Hughes Medical Institute)
Pocket Mouse Evolution
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.
Pocket Mouse Evolution (Howard Hughes Medical Institute)
Regeneration: Evolution and Medicine
An overview and comparison of different regenerative capabilities in many different organisms. Also featured on the recently released HHMI DVD, Potent Biology: Stem Cells, Cloning, and Regeneration, available free from HHMI. Order DVDs here.
Stickleback CT Scan
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.
Stickleback CT Scan (Howard Hughes Medical Institute)
This "morph" animation demonstrates how the expression of a particular toolkit gene in a butterfly larva corresponds to the location of the wing eyespots in an adult butterfly.
Wing Morph (Howard Hughes Medical Institute)
Slide through time to see human ancestors and how they may be related. When did humans evolve? Who are our ancestors? Why did we evolve? This activity shows the major hominid (human or human-like) species discovered to date, when they lived, and how they might be related to each other.
Human Evolution by Animation PBS
- Walking Tall Video by PBS
- Did Humans Evolve Video by PBS
- Origins of Human Kind Interactive by PBS
Evolution and Phylogenetics Animations
Cladogram: An example of a cladogram, which depicts the relatedness of taxonomic groups; uses the Order Cetacea, whales, as an example. New Theoretical Approach in Whale Phylogeny: A phylogeny depicting the new picture of whale ancestry. Genetic Data: Demonstrates how scientists use genetic data to build a phylogeny and determine relatedness between a group of organisms. Tree of Life -- Lateral Gene Transfer Diagram: Revised "tree of life" with all groups divided into their domains. Includes information about lateral gene transfer and the endosymbiosis of bacteria that became mitochondria and chloroplasts.
Evolution and Phylogenetics Animations (Rediscovering Biology)
Hominoid Family Tree: Family tree of hominoids, including the apes and man.
Human Fossil Bush: The èHominid Family Bushî made up of modern humans, their ancestors, and their now-extinct relatives. Human Migration Hypotheses: Most scientists agree that an early hominid species evolved in Africa and spread across the Old World. After that, there is still some debate between the èMultiregionalî hypothesis and the èOut of Africa,î or èReplacementî hypothesis as to how modern humans came to evolve and populate the globe. Mitochondrial DNA: A 3-D animation of the way that a zygote receives nuclear, or genomic, DNA from both parents (sperm and egg cells) but inherits mitochondrial DNA only from the mother. Mitochondrial Eve: This shows how one female ancestor passed on her mitochondrial DNA to everyone living today. This woman, called "Mitochondrial Eve," probably lived only 200,000Œ300,000 years ago. Regulatory Hypothesis: This animation illustrates the experiments that Ajit Varki, Wolf Enard, and Svente Paabo carried out to compare the gene expression between chimpanzees, humans, and an outgroup, the Rhesus monkey. While gene expression was similar between humans and chimps in the liver and blood, they showed very different patterns of gene expression in the brain.
Human Evolution Animations (Discovering Biology)
The Evolution of Organelles
The Evolution of Organelles by Sumanas Inc.
Invasive Species as an Evolutionary Force
- Laetoli Footprints Video
- Finding Lucy (Video)
- Riddle of the Bones (interactive)
- Becoming a Fossil (Video)
- See the difference between mtDNA and nuclear DNA ancestry with this interactive family tree.
- Skull comparison between Neanderthal and Cro Magnon
- Dig and Deduce (interactive)
- On Becoming Human
- An Orgin of the Species (interactive activity)
- Darwin's Diary (interactive)
- Hummingbird Species in the Transitional Zones (video)
- Evolving Ideas: How Does Evolution Really Work? (video)
Timeline of Discovery
Timeline of Discovery The Leakey Foundation
- Sweaty T-Shirt Theory (Video)
- Chimps and Bonobos An explanation for lack of female abuse (non isolation of females) and reasons for abuse (isolate females). video
- The Red Queen Theory (Video)
- The Mating Game (interactive)
- Sex and The Single Guppy (interactive)
- Tale of the Peacock (video)
- Jacanas and Polyandry (video)
- Songbird Infidelity (video)
- Isolating Mechanisms: Lacewing Songs web activity using sound
- All in the Family See If you can pick evolutionary relatives? (interactive)
- Whale Evolution (video)
- Coral Reef Connections (Survival) (interactive)
- Microbe Clock (interactive)
- Evolution of Antibiotic Resistance (video)
Symbiosis of Ants(bacteria on ants combat fungus in nest with antibiotics) The bacteria evolve as the fungus evloves and thus continuously effective antibiotic evolution produced for a continuous resistance evolution (video)
Evolution Lab: Do-it-yourself evolution! Use this humorous but powerful simulation tool to test the effects of selection, mutation and chance on the evolution of a trait. (Biology in Motion)