Curiosity

10 Examples of Natural Selection

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by: Diana Bocco
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Sometimes evolutionary changes are small and appear insignificant at first glance, but they play a part in natural selection and the survival of the species.
Nicholas Veasey/Getty Images

When we think of evolution, we usually think of primates evolving into humans, and of the evolutionary changes that were made over thousands and thousands of years. But the truth is evolution is at work all the time. Sometimes the changes are small and appear insignificant at first glance, but they all play a part in natural selection and the survival of the species.

But natural selection doesn't lead to the development of a new species. In most cases, the process simply allows a species to better adapt to its environment by changing the genetic make up from one generation to the next. And the process is actually quite predictable. If a species lacks a certain trait that will allow it to survive, there are two options: Either the species dies out or it develops the missing trait.

Most people think of biologist and naturalist Charles Darwin as the father of the theory of evolution, but the truth is that the concept of evolution is much older. Anaximander, a philosopher who lived in Ancient Greece, believed that man naturally evolved from an early animal species [source: All About Science]. And in 1809, biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck talked about the transformation of one species into another. But it was Darwin who introduced the concept of natural selection in the 1850s and forever changed the concept of evolution. Read on to see 10 prime examples of this theory and how each species puts its own spin on it.

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