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Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 7:52 EDT

Latest Armin Moczek Stories

Notion That Hox Genes Acquire New Roles Quickly, Without Compromising Old Ones
2014-03-19 21:55:48

Indiana University Bloomington It’s difficult to identify a single evolutionary novelty in the animal kingdom that has fascinated and intrigued mankind more than the lantern of the firefly. Yet to this day, nothing has been known about the genetic foundation for the formation and evolution of this luminescent structure. But now, new work from a former Indiana University Bloomington graduate student and his IU Ph.D. advisor offers for the first time a characterization of the...

2011-12-15 17:20:51

Believed critical for determining which individuals can -- or cannot -- successfully reproduce with each other, genitalia not only figure prominently in the origin of new species, but are also typically the first type of trait to change as new species form. Today, new international research led by Indiana University shows that as populations and species diversify, the exact shape and fit of genitalia steals the show over size. In data gathered from populations isolated for less than 50...

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2009-05-12 08:02:43

A popular view among evolutionary biologists that fundamental genes do not acquire new functions was challenged this week by a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Indiana University Bloomington biologist Armin Moczek and research associate Debra Rose report that two ancient genes were "co-opted" to help build a new trait in beetles -- the fancy antlers that give horned beetles their name. The genes, Distal-less and homothorax, touch most aspects of insect larval...

2008-09-02 16:58:09

The evolutionary tradeoff between becoming a bigger fighter or lover could lead to new species among dung beetle populations. Male beetles may not transform in the blink of an eye, but natural selection seems to have driven rapid evolution in the size of their fighting horns - and their reproductive tools - during a time period of just 50 years in one newly studied case. "As horns get bigger, copulatory organs get smaller, or vice versa," said Armin Moczek, an evolutionary...

2008-09-01 08:32:35

The evolutionary tradeoff between becoming a bigger fighter or lover could lead to new species among dung beetle populations. Male beetles may not transform in the blink of an eye, but natural selection seems to have driven rapid evolution in the size of their fighting horns - and their reproductive tools - during a time period of just 50 years in one newly studied case. "As horns get bigger, copulatory organs get smaller, or vice versa," said Armin Moczek, an evolutionary...