It's a bird... it's a plane... it's a super-taster!

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Super food.jpg
(Even super-tasters would enjoy this super food!)

I believe that the reason these "super-senses" exist, such as insects' vision, dogs' olfactory sense, etc. is to permit their survival. For example, insects eternally need to be on high alert due to their relatively small size. Dogs needed a strong smell in order to find their pray. These traits would be more common in humans, too, if it helped for their chance of survival. For example, if most foods that humans consumed were poisonous and only a "super-taster" could use his tasting skills to test which ones, they would likely have a higher survival rate. This survival rate would lead to a higher reproduction rate and thus "super-tasting" would be standard among humans.

Yet in reality, this is not helpful. That is why the "super" genetic mutations of senses in humans are rare. An example of this, again, is the super-taster. There likely is no unique advantage to this skill. In fact, it could be harmful, because infants and other youth would be pickier about their food, which would potentially lead to poorer nutrition. Although these super senses are neat human bodily tricks, the lack of advantage means that they are not likely to spread in the near future.

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Wow, this picture is horrifying, yet fascinating all at the same time. I can definitely see the evolutionary basis for super tasting as being a desirable trait, but you also did a nice job highlighting some of the problems that could be associated with this.

I must agree with the last poster; the picture is really something.
On a different note, I completely agree with your evolutionary take on "super senses;" it most likely is a matter of natural selection. One thing that is important to note, however, is that organisms cannot just construct super senses when they need them. The alleles for more acute hearing, vision, etc. must have already existed in some members of the population and then have been selected for.

Again, I agree that the picture is awesome (I think people appreciate the football theme!). I also wonder if the lack of these super senses in humans could possibly be due to that we are considered a superior species (survival of the fittest anyone?)? Just a thought...

I think the fact that humans senses can be escalated so such a degree (i.e. a "super-taster") is incredibly intriguing. I do agree that if the heightened sense of taste were beneficial for reproduction and survival, evolution would've made it a very common occurrence. I wonder though, in modern society, if a being a super-taster could have a negative impact on humans, seeing as they could potentially become picky eaters. Very interesting topic!

I have never heard of this so it's very interesting. Are there actually people who have this? But with that being said, there are a lot of traits in humans that are don't benefit us. Loved the picture though. It looks delicious!

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This page contains a single entry by herti007 published on February 19, 2012 9:41 PM.

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