Organisms adapt/evolve not only to gain advantage, also to survive vs evolving opposing organisms in changing context. – Red Queen Hypothesis
In many populations, the probability of extinction does not depend on the lifetime of the population. In addition, the probability of extinction is constant over millions of years for a given population. An adaptation of one species may change the selection pressure on another species, giving rise to an antagonistic co-evolution.
@pmarca The Rough-Skinned Newt and the Garter Snake. Wonderful example.—
Jonathan Glick (@jonathanglick) February 23, 2014
The metaphor of an evolutionary arms race — the description of biological processes with dynamics similar to arms races. The ability of a family of organisms to survive does not improve over time — surprising lack of correlation between age and extinction.
Citation for biological extinction is Leigh Van Valen, 1973.