Podcast #128: We chat with Kent C Dodds about why he loves React and discuss what life was like in the dark days before Git. Listen now.
8

This is actually doable -- easy, even. For infrared, as @overlord has noted, there would be difficulties that might make it not worth your while. On the other hand, it depends on the use case: infrared radiation is absorbed by water (thus, by the crystalline in the eye), so that only a fraction would reach the retina. Granted, evolutionary changes might ...


7

Only if they are two separate life cycles and the transition brings advantages. The juvenile could be like a caterpilar: not particularly mobile but great at building bulk. It would be hard to hatch gigantic (you would need equally gigantic eggs and egg-layers) but maybe it takes up water quickly after being born and surpasses their parents within a week or ...


6

Gills extract oxygen from water, where it's present in lower concentration than air. With lower oxygen available also the metabolism has to be reduced. With the current conditions there is no advantage in using gills against lungs. Unless: resurfacing for breathing becomes extremely hazardous the oxygen concentration in the air becomes so high that it's ...


6

So, apologies in advance but this will be a negative answer. Normally I'd flag this sort of question as far too broad, but realistically your premise is for a world that's either going to turn back to a terrestrial state (and so you can just look at the history of life on earth) or will remain so hideously inhospitable that surface life likely won't exist. ...


6

Two-headed creatures - or even humans - are not unknown in reality, and have even been known to survive to adulthood, so as a point mutation it is not beyond the bounds of possibility for it to occur over a very short period relative to the typical evolutionary timescale. In order for this condition to persist across generations, there are several pre-...


5

The respiratory system and exoskeleton are not actually as strict of constraints as most people have been led to believe. For example, it's not actually the use of trachea in and of themselves that limits access to oxygen--it's reliance on passive diffusion. Improving the circulatory system and adding pumping to the function of the trachea (which some ...


4

i think there're 2 directions to approach this question: biology and culinary use. 1st, biology. Warm climate with reasonable humidity (like rainforest or Mediterranean shrub) tends to have higher biodiversity than cold climate, since plants (which form the base of the foodchain) can grow all year long.. also, the rate of evolution seems to be higher there (...


4

Two thoughts: First, there's no particular reason that the brain needs to be located in the head. Such a creature could have a single brain located in the body cavity, in which case the 'heads' would be little more than sensory extensions, allowing it to see, speak, and smell in different directions simultaneously. The heads would appear to act ...


4

Unlikely, but Plausible My first reaction was no, because use of tools is one of the ways we define intelligence. For example with logical thinking and knowledge of cause and effect you can reason that hitting something with a pointy stick is better than punching them. However, your question was not about using tools, but making them. So in order for this ...


4

There are lungs and there are gills. There are some other ways to get oxygen as well. Some animals respire through the skin. Behold: the Hairy frog. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hairy_frog These frogs do gas exchange through their well vascularized dermal papillae. For an example of a mammal with gills, one could consider Heuvelman's cryptid merhorse. ...


3

I would probably turn that question around, why would a sapient intelligent species not use tools if they have the capacity to make them. Tools are not a necessity for intelligence (or sapiens), though it's an inevitable outcome of intelligence. Any entity with the mental capacity to shape the world around it to it's own benefit, will invariably do so ...


3

No Or, more correctly, it violates the laws of evolution as we understand it. There are tradeoffs that are made for offspring in nature. The general rule is that the quicker it takes for a creature to develop, the less complex it can be. A fly, for instance, is capable of all fly behavior within 24 hours, give or take, but fly behavior is very simplistic. ...


3

"The main reason behind this question is because I think it would be interesting if there was a situation in which an individual from Alpha Centauri could literally not read a display because of the color scheme, or if conversely they could see something that someone from Sol could not." This is very very obviously possible. Here on Earth, illuminated by ...


3

Any substance that a plant produces, if not directly involved with reproduction or energy storage, is only justifiable as a defense mechanism. I.e. Laurel leaves have an antibiotic effect which some birds use to keep their nest sanitized, by adding them to the thread. Aroma rich plants are not exclusive of Mediterranean climates, vanilla, cocoa and coffee ...


2

As, LSerni points out, the eye detects color based on what proteins are present in each cone. As far as I know, every organism that naturally exists produces more or less the same ratios of proteins in each cone indefinitely for the lifespan of the cell; however, it may be possible for a cell to either re-absorb and form new proteins (This could take as ...


2

Day length would undoubtedly have a major impact upon evolution leading to different solutions. In worlds with very short day night cycles it might be expected that creatures would be more inclined to take short sleep breaks or be able to alternately sleep each half of their brain only becoming fully conscious when needed. It might even be possible to do ...


2

I think that you shouldn't think of spice VS no spice, but as in diversity of spices VS just using one or two. One reason why the Mediterranean has more spices may simply be because it's on the coast - therefore it sees more migration and commerce than a continental region. You'd have a boat sailing from Egypt that could carry a few seeds to Spain, Italy, ...


2

No difference. Evolution does notwork on such short timescales. Jews have been cutting off their foreskins for thousands of years yet each new generation gets born with them again. Unless an extremely specific mutation randomly appears in the population, AND that mutation conveys a large benefit to the chances of breeding, AND the breeding successfully ...


1

The shores would be mostly sand and tiny shards of broken glass, because A) any sand underwater during the lightning era wouldn't have turned into glass, and B) erosion would have pulverized all the glass on the shores, and weathered them down to tiny bits of sea glass. Contrary to your premise, most of the terrain would probably be sand mixed with chunks of ...


1

The concept of "visible light" is actually way broader than the human vision. It relates also to the photosyntesis, to the transparency of the atmosphere and to chemistry in general. The lower-energy (red) limit is the ability to invoke a chemical reaction in a substance that is generally stable at the temperatures of liquid water. A substance that is less ...


1

There's a big problem with reverting to our ancestral gills -- while mammal and reptile embryos do have the beginnings of gills for a while, the structures don't simply disappear, but get remodeled into a variety of other facial parts. Bringing back the gills would require a significant reworking of the facial parts. Ref: https://blog.waikato.ac.nz/...


1

The use of trachea limits their size very sharply. A higher partial oxygen pressure might help a little, but not much. You mentioned they are supposed to evolve beyond that, but what does that mean? You get a species that is ... Egg-laying. With compound eyes. Six legs. Endoskeleton. Circulatory system for nutrient and oxygen transport. Within these ...


1

I'm not sure how relevant this is, but if you were to add an aspect like the cuttle fish and octopus ability to shrink and expand their melanin sacks on their skin to rapidly change their colour and shape, could this be applied to the cones? So have several with one type of protein in them, another with some more (etc.) and have the animal able to shrink the ...


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