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Evaluating the Adaptive Fitness of Circadian Clocks and their Evolution.

Surely most chronobiologists believe circadian clocks are an adaptation of organisms that enhances fitness, but are we certain that this focus of our research effort really confers a fitness advantage? What is the evidence, and how do we evaluate it? What are the best criteria? These questions are the topic of this review. In addition, we will discuss selective pressures that might have led to the historical evolution of circadian systems while considering the intriguing question of whether the ongoing climate change is modulating these selective pressures so that the clock is still evolving.

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