Natural Selection Is A Key Mechanism Of The Evolutionary Process

1735 Words Feb 8th, 2015 null Page
Natural selection is a key mechanism of the evolutionary process and relates to the occurrence of certain traits within a population and they way in which these traits affect the survival and reproductive success of an organism.
Organisms need to be able to adapt to their environment in order to survive and reproduce. Any advantageous traits that occur within a population increase an individual’s chance of survival, thus resulting in the organism producing more offspring than those who have not inherited this particular trait. Examples of these traits may include a change in colour or smell, or a resistance to a particular disease.
Comparatively, a disadvantageous trait will result in a lower chance for survival and reproduction. Those organisms who possess a disadvantageous trait or those who are unable to adapt to their environment successfully are eventually filtered out of the population, leaving only the well-suited organisms. This is known as the survival of the fittest.
Natural selection is a gradual process and it can take many years for a certain adaptation to become common within a population. First, a random mutation occurs, resulting in a distinct trait variation. For example, consider a population of birds. The birds’ food source of soft seeds becomes scarce and they must begin to eat harder seeds and nuts in order to survive. A random variation occurs within the population, resulting in an organism possessing a stronger or larger beak. This allows this…

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