Natural Selection Is A Key Mechanism Of The Evolutionary Process
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…