The gang discuss a recent paper which suggests that pollinating butterflies and moths may have evolved well before the evolution of flowering plants (angiosperms). Curt seizes this opportunity to force them all to read about exaptation. Meanwhile, James has some unique ideas about automotive safety and Amanda demonstrates her amazing Google skills in the face of uncertainty.
Up-Goer Five (Amanda Edition):
Today our friends talk about a thing that is very important. Many people have an idea that a thing came about because it had a use. But it might be, sometimes, that a thing came about because it was together with a thing that had a use. Or maybe it even came about because it just did. Maybe not everything has to come about because it has a use. One of the things our friends read comes up with a name for this idea. And it talks about things that mean maybe that idea is right. And it also talks a lot about words and one of our friends thinks that that part is not fun. The other thing our friends read is about little things that fly and are colored pretty. These little pretty-colored things that fly are thought to have come about along with green things that smell good. But it seems that maybe these pretty-colored things that fly come about a lot earlier than the green things that smell good. This is just like that idea where a thing has come about even though it had no use for it yet.
Gould, Stephen Jay, and Elisabeth S. Vrba. "Exaptation—a missing term in the science of form." Paleobiology 8.1 (1982): 4-15.
van Eldijk, Timo JB, et al. "A Triassic-Jurassic window into the evolution of Lepidoptera." Science advances 4.1 (2018): e1701568.