JAN 06, 2017 08:38 AM PST

What Causes Major Evolutionary Transitions?

WRITTEN BY: Jennifer Ellis
3 3 363

We all know that single-celled aquatic organisms evolved into multi-celled organisms that then evolved to live on land. We also know that the first animals evolved into more complex mammals, which evolved into apes and humans. But how do these large evolutionary jumps take place?

One major evolutionary transition took place millions of years ago when eukaryotic single-celled organisms became multi-celled organisms. Looking closely at early multi-celled organisms, the cells look very similar to their single-celled counterparts. Instead of living independently, they now work together as a colony. Another example of this is with a cell's mitochondria. Mitochondria were once free living bacteria that evolved to become an interdependent part of cells by working together over time.

So what causes these major evolutionary changes? The answer is cooperation. When groups of cells work together long enough, a colony is formed and division of labor becomes evident. As the single cells in the group become interdependent on each other, they reproduce as one organism and evolve as one as well.
About the Author
  • I love all things science and am passionate about bringing science to the public through writing. With an M.S. in Genetics and experience in cancer research, marketing and technical writing, it is a pleasure to share the latest trends and findings in science on LabRoots.
You May Also Like
JUL 13, 2018
Technology
JUL 13, 2018
Watch: HEXA Robot Takes Care of Plants
This spider-like robot will shift your succulent plants into sunlight or shade.
JUL 16, 2018
Videos
JUL 16, 2018
Neuroscience and the Legal System.
In a court of law, it’s all about the evidence. Whether criminal or civil, the outcome of any legal proceeding must be based on what was presented as
JUL 22, 2018
Videos
JUL 22, 2018
How far can a single breath can go?
Longest distance swam underwater in one breath by a female using fins. Can you imagine being the Guinness World record-holder of that title? Marina Kazanko
JUL 25, 2018
Videos
JUL 25, 2018
Is Your Brain Completely Unconscious During Anesthesia?
For surgical procedures, anesthesia is a necessary part of patient care. Anesthesia is thought to render a patient unconscious, but according to new r
AUG 13, 2018
Videos
AUG 13, 2018
One Cell was Consumed by Another in a Evolutionary Leap
A process called endosymbiosis may have given evolution a lot of help.
AUG 16, 2018
Videos
AUG 16, 2018
Why won't my ears stop ringing?
An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from tinnitus in some form. Two million of those people suffer from ringing in their ears so severely that they ca
Loading Comments...