Natural Selection


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Term: Natural Selection
Definition (Myers): The principle that, among the range of inherited trait variations, those that lead to increased reproduction and survival will most likely be passed on to succeeding generations.
Definition (alternative): Natural selection is the process by which favorable heritable traits become more common in successive generations of a population of reproducing organisms, and unfavorable heritable traits become less common, due to differential reproduction of genotypes.*
Contextual explanation: Natural selection is possible because of random mutation. Random mutation makes every organism unique. As a result the organism with the best phenotype for adaptation to the change in environment will survive and the rest will die out. It is important that it is NOT the strongest organism that survives. If every single organism looked the same and had the same traits, natural selection could not have taken place. For example, giraffes did not have longs necks a long time ago. However giraffes with longer necks were able to get more food. Giraffes with short necks eventually died out and giraffes with longer necks were able to survive and pass their "long neck" genes to their offspring.
Related terms and concepts:
evolutionary psychologists
mutations
genome
chromosomes

Natural Selection - The Neuron
Related websites:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_selection
http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange1/current/lectures/selection/selection.html
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evo_25

Edited by: Brian



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