Why are dust mites examples of reverse evolution?

Species and Population Read more from
Chapter Heredity, Natural Selection, and Evolution

Scientists recently did a study of house dust mites and found that these members of the arachnids (related to spiders) demonstrated reverse evolution. Although Dollo’s law states that evolution is not reversible, genetic studies have shown that house dust mites—little mites that thrive in our mattresses, rugs, and sheets, or any place where we shed dead skin cells and are known as one of the most diverse animals on Earth—evolved from parasites. These parasites, in turn, evolved from free-living organisms millions of years ago. Now dust mites are back to their roots—literally—and are once again free-living organisms.


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