07 May 2012

And another thing ...

Regarding that adaptive fairytale about the "runner's high"—over at Distributed Ecology, Ted Hart points out that it doesn't make much sense in phylogenetic context, either.

What would be really interesting is to see where this trait maps across the phylogeny. Is it a conserved trait that was selected for in some ancestor? That would point to the fact that maybe it has nothing to do with running. The authors are mute about phylogeny, but eCB's could alternatively be the ancestral character state, and really the interesting question is why did ferrets evolve the loss of this state? On the other hand maybe the trait evolved multiple times, and that also is really interesting to ask how that happened. But either phylogenetic scenario undermine the central thesis of Raichlen.

You'll want to read the whole thing, natch.◼

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