I thought it was pretty funny to read the Wired’s recently posted 10 Worst Evolutionary Designs. However, when I read the comments posted by the users, I was really shocked to find out that many scrutinized the author.
My take is, it was an article trying to educate the readers about imperfect world. Therefore, the article conveyed only one message to me: life could not have been designed by God as it exist, in its imperfect form. Although, I did not like the use of “design” in the title. Evolution is not a designed process. It is a hit and trial process rather than design. Among a group of organisms, one has a certain beneficial mutation that renders it more fit. Thus, it can reproduce at higher rates than others and the gene gets fixed in the population. Thus, for every ‘flaw’ that the author pointed out, there is a reason or basis of adaptation. However, it is true that many things in nature are not perfect and that is what is the beauty of evolution!
P.S. To those readers who criticized the author of the above article stating that each organism is best adapted for its surrounding therefore they are as good as they are: a new paper in scientific journal PNAS by Alfaro et al. indicates that there are evolutionary winners and losers; based on species richness, i.e., the diversity in species within a family, one can calculate success rates of various animal lineages. Based on their results, the most successful animals are modern birds, coral fish, and mammals.
My curiosity made me compile a list of organisms with interesting characteristics or interesting evolutionary past. Some of them are listed below.