If life on Earth is constantly evolving, why do we still have life forms such as amoebas?
Who says amoebas are less evolved?
Asked by: Tom Hampton, Townsville, Australia
Evolution is not a ladder, with every organism steadily climbing its way to the top. It’s a cacophony of random mutations where natural selection favours the ones that are slightly better adapted to their local environment. Amoebas are simpler organisms than humans or pine trees, but they aren’t less evolved: they’re the result of the same four billion years of evolution as every other living thing. Amoebas continue to exist because they’re very well adapted to life in each of the many different ecological niches they’ve colonised, from the bottom of the sea to the inside of your skull.
Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun facts.
Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.
May Half Price Sale
- Save up to 52% when you subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine.
- Risk - free offer! Cancel at any time when you subscribe via Direct Debit.
- FREE UK delivery.
- Stay up to date with the latest developments in the worlds of science and technology.