Hi, I have a question about genetics and evolution that I have been struggling to figure out i recent years.
All species adapt to survive, and they to that through mutation and evolution (very roughly) but my question is, what mechanism in the genes or body decides what mutation takes place on the body of the individual animal?
Recently I watched a documentary on Animal Planet about South America and the evolution of the animals there. Now take the giant ant eater. It has extra joints between it's vertebra to reinforce it's back when it's eating termites. Now how did the body figure out that extra joints in the back were the best solution to that problem? Also, the ant eaters jaws are "sealed" by the skin so it can't open it's mouth apart from the front where it's tounge gathers termites. Again, what mechanism decides what mutation is best for the animal, and how does the body itself figure out exactly what mutation is the best for it's survival?
Is it a question of trial and error? Of course I understand that almost every animal is constantly evolving to suit the enviroment it lives in, but I think it's an interesting question.
I hope my question makes sense.
Christopher Hower - Denmark.