Essay on Adaptive Radiation And Species Diversification

1490 Words Nov 29th, 2016 6 Pages
Adaptive Radiation and Species Diversification

Through a common ancestor, species diverge into new populations which eventually adapt to their new environments and evolve to become their own sub species and then distinct species. This occurs through the process of adaptive radiation. The population of an ancestor species radiates outwards to different ecological niches. From there, these now separate populations adapt to their new habitats and resources in isolation. This gives them opportunity to evolve and become their own species based off of genetic changes that make them most fit for their new environments. Examples of these kinds of adaptations derive from geographic isolation from other species, reduction of gene flow among the populations, and the occurrence of sexual selection, all resulting in different forms of speciation. This process of radiation is a driving type of speciation. Speciation events occur in situations such as adaptive radiation and are what drive new branches to form on the tree of life.

Adaptive radiation is a central idea in Beak of the Finch as the work of the Grants demonstrates that the finches of the Galápagos Islands stand as a key example of how new species form and adapt, resulting in the thirteen different finch species along with the variations within each. “Darwin’s finches are also a classic model of speciation: again, they figure in virtually all of the textbooks, very often as a central illustration” (Weiner 134). Through…

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