a. In most general terms, biological evolution may be defined as the accumulation of changes in inherited characteristics of a species that gives rise to significant alterations in its biological organization, i.e. physiology, the mode of interaction with its environment, nutrition regime, etc. …
physiology, the mode of interaction with its environment, nutrition regime, etc. While evolutionist ideas may be discerned in several pre-modern scholars’ ruminations, it was only with the advent of the 18th century Enlightenment that modern evolutionary theories formed, with that of Charles Darwin soon taking the pre-eminent place among them. The formation of currently mainstream version of evolutionary biology was immensely helped by the respective advances in the fields of genetics and molecular biology, which helped define the organic basis for evolutionary processes. From a biological organization point of view, evolution proceeds on a species level, as individuals comprising a species do not themselves evolve over the course of their lifespan. However, the results of their interaction with the environment enable the accumulation of new heritable responses within their genotype structures, giving rise to a process of natural selection. The latter, in its turn, conditions the changes in the species’ phenotype (i.e. the complex of biological features). Natural selection may be properly defined as a gradual process of genetic variation whereby the individuals with most favorable gene combinations are more frequently able to transplant their genes to subsequent generations of a species, so that their descendants will define the face of their species. While natural selection process is individual, being transmitted across a species only indirectly, it is genotype of a species as a whole that it impacts on, so that heritable changes in those individuals’ genotypes that are favored by natural selection are spread to the subsequent generations of a species as a whole. The mechanisms of natural selection are varied; however, some of them may be assigned more prominent roles in its perpetration. Of those, ecological selection, with an emphasis on fitting with one’s biological environment, and sexual selection, with an individual’s fecundity and ability to find prospective sexual partners as a key factor, may be considered the primary ones. In turn, these mechanisms may be sub-divided into more specific methods of selection, with, e.g., ecological selection encompassing the mechanisms of intraspecies competition, kin selection, etc., and sexual selection including those of intrasexual selection, intersexual selection (sexual dimorphism), etc. b. Evidence for biological evolution is manifold and comprises the number of data from different scientific disciplines. Within the context of this essay, five types of this evidence will be examined. Plate tectonics. The discovery of the movements of plates in the 20th century laid to rest the notion of unchangeable nature of Earth’s tectonics, contributing to an idea of nature’s propensity for change. On a more specific level, Charles Lyell’s studies on the impact of climatological and geological changes on the distribution of species, with specific emphasis on extinct flora, led the researchers to conclude that movements of large land masses lead to conversion of climates, which meant that animal and plant species had to be dynamic entities, the spatial distribution whereof changes in accordance with the changes of topography brought about by geological agents. Consequently, the changes in floras and faunas were decisively connected with the corresponding shifts of land masses, contributing to the development of an idea of ecological selection. Biogeography. The research in the connection between plate tectonics and changes in life on Earth that was referred to above has been directly connected with the research in the field of biogeography. Such scientists as Edward Forbes, Wallace and Willer Matthew conducted an extensive research in the ...
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The molecular clock hypothesis also serves as a null model, which is usable in testing both the rates of mutation and evolution in various species. Molecular clocks continue to influence significantly the development of molecular evolution theories. Following the noted progress in technologies that focus on DNA sequencing, the use of molecular clocks has also experienced a marked increase, allowing for profound effects on the appreciation of the temporal diversification of genomes and species.
This paper makes a profound analysis of the changes in numbers of species in the threatened categories, including critically endangered and endangered, from 1998 to 2008, in order to identify the major trends in the extent of endangered species in the contemporary world and this analysis has a vital role in determining the various levels of actions to be guided so as to deal with the issues of animal extinction,
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The costs to ecosystems are determined by the amount of resources that are available for the survival of homogenous species and the effects of this equilibrium when new additions are introduced. The economic costs come twofold, the costs through production loss in forestry and agriculture and the costs of managing invasive species.
The creation of new species by the mechanism of speciation and the three different types of speciation: allopatric, sympatric and parapatric are discussed in this essay. The aim is to determine whether Allopatric Speciation is the only mechanism by which new species
The evolution and existence of a new species on the island has since baffled many scientists but by the year 1876 the Falkland wolfs were almost extinct and with no scientific evidence as to how it came in to existence.
I embarked on this incredible journey and my aim was to experience the islands like he did, through his eyes. But many years have passed since his first visit to the islands and we can definitely see the changes of the
The Carica papaya genome is a promising system for fruit-tree and tropical-tree genome exploration (Ming et al. 991). Ricinus communis is of special economic interest because of the presence of ricinoleic acid, an unusual fatty acid, and also
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