Natural Selection Evolution

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Natural selection can be seen as a force, and evolution as a result. Natural selection can be broken down into three concepts that require it to operate. The first is the constant struggle a species face for survival, which results in the continuation of the successful branches of the species, as the others become extinct. The second requirement is a varying population, these more successful branches only stem from mutated groups or individuals whose features become beneficial when faced with such struggles. The third concept is the presence of a mechanism that allows these mutations to be passed on to the next generation, thus evolving the species. All three of these conditions are interrelated, and must take place in order for natural selection …show more content…
Mutated groups or individuals within a population contribute to the survival of the species by offering an alternative mechanism for coping with stressful environments. The study of the peppered moth during the industrial revolution is a prime example of this concept in action. In Manchester, England, during 1848, the first sighting of the black (melanic) peppered moth was recorded. Before then, as the name suggests, the peppered moth had only been observed as white with black speckles across it’s wings (Butterfly Conservation, n.d.) and this black variation was one that had arisen by chance through mutation of this species. As the revolution persisted, smoke from commercial industries caused the trees in the Manchester area to darken, which meant the white moths were more easily targeted by predators due to their lack of camouflage. Butterfly Conservation also stated that “by 1895 98% of peppered moths in the city were black”. The presence of the melanic mutation in the peppered moth meant there was a variance in the population that proved to be successful in the environment that arose at the time of the industrial revolution. The survival of this, already present, genetic variation caused the evolution of the peppered moth. The original peppered moth species did not die out and continues to exist within the population as a minority, from a …show more content…
As branches of the finch and the peppered moth thrived they needed some way for their success to be passed on to the next generation. This is what makes sexual reproduction so important in the evolutionary process. As (Taylor, 2004) observed, sex increases variation within a population, and therefore increases competition for food and best mates, meaning over time, more prevalence in the best mutations. Variation happens within a population due to sexual reproduction taking genetic information from two individuals to make one individual for the next generation. The ideal mates become those that a population identify as possessing the characteristics most likely to survive and carry on their bloodline, this includes the ability to reproduce. This is sexual selection and it plays an important role in the continued evolution of a species. Intersexual selection is a result of an individual of one sex choosing the other as a mate because they have optimum mating potential, essentially by showing off. A commonly used example is the male peacock, who has an average tail length of 1.5 meters, (National Geographic, 2016) adorned with colorful feathers. These Feathers attract female peafowl as they recognise this as an ability to reproduce and pass on genes, so the males with the finest feathers are the ones who reproduce. (New England Complex Systems

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