Home Biology 35 Ways Evolution Is Proven All Around Us
Biology By Joe Burgett -

35 Ways Evolution Is Proven All Around Us
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12. Human Brains Have Shrunk

Oftentimes, when we call someone or another species unintelligent, we typically wonder if their brain is merely smaller than it should be. Words like “pea brain” are thrown around as insults even! Yet the funniest part of this is that most human brains are the same size and all of us have smaller brains than humans used to have. Seriously, our brains have been slowly shrinking for more than 20,000 years thus far.

35 Ways Evolution Is Proven All Around Us
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The total change in that time is reportedly the size of a tennis ball in adult males according to scientists. This does not mean we’re getting dumber, however, far from it! The standing theory is that humans rely on certain structures of the brain to help us get by, so the extra space is not as needed as it used to be. This could also result in smaller heads over time too. Heck, even animals like dogs and cats have experienced this same thing.

35 Ways Evolution Is Proven All Around Us
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

11. Pakicetus Fossil proved Whales walked on land

We all know that whales are actually mammals just like us, so it probably should not come as a big surprise that they once walked on land. For some time, this was not possible to prove even if it made sense to consider. Then, the Pakicetus Fossil showed up to literally shock the world, becoming one of the key ways evolution is proven in classrooms all over the world. The Pakicetus happens to be the creature whales evolved from, living during the Eocene period around 50 million years ago.

35 Ways Evolution Is Proven All Around Us
Photo Credit: Illustration by Roman Uchytel

It lived on land and developed a unique inner ear shape still only seen in whales today called the “auditory bulla.” The Pakicetus Fossil, discovered in Pakistan, connects specifically to the Humpback whale species. Other fossils show when land whales turned into the aquatic life they have today, such as the Ambulocetus & Remingtonocetus fossils. The Basilosaurid creatures became the first known fully aquatic whale species.

35 Ways Evolution Is Proven All Around Us
Photo Credit: Melissa Groo/Audubon

10. Why do Birds no longer have teeth

Have you ever wondered why birds seem to have beaks but they just rarely have teeth? This is by design and happens to be one of the main key ways evolution is proven regarding dinosaurs. As mentioned earlier, dinosaurs left their dino form and eventually evolved into birds. There are some birds that have distinct similarities to dinosaurs from millions of years ago. Yet one of the key things missing from all birds is teeth.

35 Ways Evolution Is Proven All Around Us
Photo Credit: Stephanie Abramowicz

This is an evolutionary trait that went into reverse to many but the lack of teeth happened for key reasons. First and foremost, the food their newly bird bodies went for was rarely in need of thick, sharp teeth. Their beaks became weapons as well, often acting as a form of teeth that got the job done. Essentially, teeth were no longer useful while harder, thicker beaks were. Teeth basically dropped out in favor of beaks.

35 Ways Evolution Is Proven All Around Us
Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

9. Our ability to drink Alcohol and not die

For all true reasoning, humans should not be able to drink alcoholic products. Yet this is exactly what we’ve done for thousands of years. The original reasoning for this was that water was often too contaminated to drink, yet juices from fruits and whatnot were actually very good. Some of these drinks had naturally alcoholic content while others added it later. It resulted in alcoholic content being a mainstay.

35 Ways Evolution Is Proven All Around Us
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Even Christian churches had services where red wine was served to represent Jesus’ blood. How were we able to survive this alcohol exposure? Simple, we adapted. One of the most interesting ways evolution is proven to humans is via the enzymes we developed known as Dehydrogenase (ADH) and Aldehyde Dehydrogenase (ALDH). They break apart alcohol, allowing it to filter out into our urine, and then we completely remove it once we use the restroom.

35 Ways Evolution Is Proven All Around Us
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8. Antibiotic Resistance

When we’re young, antibiotics can be given to us at very early stages now. Often, small doses can be distributed to remove infections we might have. As we age, higher doses are given for longer periods to remove infections. At the end of the day, we’re still often needing to increase strength or time of use. This is due to how our bodies adapt to antibiotics. However, in one of the most horrific ways evolution is proven through the human body, we’re now starting to resist several antibiotics.

35 Ways Evolution Is Proven All Around Us
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This is causing people to be on far higher (and slightly unsafe) versions of antibiotics while some don’t work at all. The reason for this seems to be over-exposure. People tend to take antibiotics for the slightest thing, like colds or viruses, assuming they’ll work. Yet they do not treat this type of thing at all. People then assume taking them as a precaution is fine but it’s actually not honestly. Our bodies adapt to these foreign substances, causing many not to work.

35 Ways Evolution Is Proven All Around Us
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7. The Tale of the Tardigrade

Likely the most indestructible beings known to mankind, the Tardigrade are rumored to be where multiple points of life originated. Yet they are also our only likely key to accessing full adaptation. Tardigrades are able to survive in quite literally any conditions they are exposed to. They can be frozen and upon thawing, then come back into moving life similar to Captain America. The Tardigrades have also proven they can last under nearly impossibly hot standards.

35 Ways Evolution Is Proven All Around Us
Photo Credit: Getty Images

They were starved of normal food and liquid and still somehow stayed alive. These amazing evolutionary masterpieces also managed to survive in space, being exposed to cold temperatures and lack of oxygen. They survived it and even did so on Earth by being put underwater. It’s clear that when you need to find one of the ways evolution is proven, using the Tardigrade as an example is truly the best idea. The species are kings of evolution and adaptation.

35 Ways Evolution Is Proven All Around Us
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6. The Palmar Grip Reflex

While this particular thing is seen among monkeys and other primates today with their young, it’s still seen in human beings as well. We did come from the same background, after all. The Palmar Grip Reflex is left over from the time in which we were similar to the other primates. Babies had to hold on to their parents for their lives as they traveled among the trees often at incredibly fast speeds.

35 Ways Evolution Is Proven All Around Us
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Our ancestors who, at this point, had tons of body hair capable of gripping. This reflex can be seen in the palms of newborns and even their toes today. Touching the palm causes them to grip tight while touching the foot causes their toes to curl. This primitive reflex can last all the way up to 6 months of age in human children. It can even allow them to be put onto monkey bars where they can grip and hold their own body weight. Amazing!

35 Ways Evolution Is Proven All Around Us
Photo Credit: Walt Disney Company

5. How Doctors seem to avoid sicknesses

Have you ever wondered how Doctors can see sick people constantly yet somehow they rarely if ever, get sick themselves? It does not start out this way for them. Often, Doctors start as Residents and work in other Doctor’s offices or hospitals. In Hospitals, they often work on rotation among the several branches they have. Every Doctor will tell you that working in the children’s wing will get them sicker than they ever thought possible on a constant basis.

35 Ways Evolution Is Proven All Around Us
Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

This is due to children often being germ-infested nightmares. This is at no fault of their own, but things like this prepare Doctors for when they go into their careers. In one of the coolest ways evolution is proven, these Doctors develop an antioxidant called Glutathione. It is a protector of cells, resulting in Doctors being able to fight off sicknesses easier. Thus, protecting them in their chosen profession.

35 Ways Evolution Is Proven All Around Us
Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

4. Our ability to handle Ultraviolet Radiation

Ultraviolet Radiation is unlike all the other types of radiation we deal with on a regular basis. We actually do run into radiation on a regular basis via things like CT Scans, MRIs, and even X-Rays. All are low forms of it but still exist. Meanwhile, the biggest radiation we deal with is, well, the sun. UV Radiation comes right from that big ball of fire that heats the Earth.

35 Ways Evolution Is Proven All Around Us
Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

The way we handle UV radiation with Melanin. For those unaware, Melanin handles things like the darkness of our skin, hair, and even the iris of our eyes. Melanin is a natural fighter of the sun, allowing things to get darker and lighter to fight off the sun’s rays. In fact, Melanin is the reason people tan when they go outside during the summer. Melanin naturally absorbs the sun’s impact, protecting the cells from damage. It does not do everything, so sunscreen is a must!

35 Ways Evolution Is Proven All Around Us
Melanocyte. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

3. The reason you’re Black, White, Yellow, or Brown

Speaking of Melanin, the way your skin looks began thousands of years ago and it’s one of the most amazing ways evolution is proven in our bodies to this day! Remember, Melanin is a natural protector and darkens the skin when we’re tanning as a way to protect you from the sun. All of this is due to absorbing it. While it makes sense to us that darker things are hotter when absorbing the sun, the skin needs to be darker to fight it.

35 Ways Evolution Is Proven All Around Us
Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

The hotter a place is, the more likely the natives to that area will be darker. This is why the Middle East has several brown people yet when you go to the United Kingdom, white people can be seen all over. Centuries ago, at some point, humanity split up with some going lower into the Middle East, Africa, and the rest of Asia. Meanwhile, others went toward the northern sector to places like Norway, Russia, and England. All are notably whiter nations for obvious reasons. We evolved to fit our territory.

35 Ways Evolution Is Proven All Around Us
Photo Credit: Got Milk? Campaign

2. The Human ability to consume Milk

When we’re babies, we consume milk quite often. This is either from formula or our mother’s breast(s), of course. Yet as we age, we eventually stop drinking milk and therefore stop producing lactase. This is the enzyme needed to break down lactose products well. That includes things like Milk, Cheese, Butter, Yogurt, and much more. Around 10,000 years ago, however, we began to domesticate animals like cattle.

35 Ways Evolution Is Proven All Around Us
Photo Credit: Unsplash

We then began drinking the milk they produced, even using it for other products. Eventually, a mutation to the Lactase Gene allowed people to break down the contents but nearly 80% of the world is still Lactose Intolerant today. Yet we’re still able to eat or drink these products because of the random mutation. People may still get gassy or have an upset stomach from them, especially with overconsumption, but we no longer die from consuming it all due to this major evolutionary change.

35 Ways Evolution Is Proven All Around Us
Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

1. Growing from a Child into an Adult

Centuries ago, we aged a bit differently due to living smaller periods of time. This speed at which life started and ended was rapid. This is why women grow up faster and stop growing by their mid-teenage years. They were needed to bring new life to a family. A girl at age 12 can actually have children, however, the youngest girl to give birth on record was only 5 years old. Boys grow slower but this is due to their specific needs for growth.

35 Ways Evolution Is Proven All Around Us
Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

Both experience hormone changes but women experience a lot more at a faster rate, so give that teen girl crying for no reason a break next time. Boys grow slower and stop growing by their early 20s physically. The reason for this was due to the need for young men to always adapt their development to the environment they are in. On top of this, today we grow up slightly slower than we did back then. We even show our age later, which is why some can look much younger than they truly are.

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