Galapagos or Darwin’s Finch (Geospizinae), Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos, Ecuador
Reviewed by: Mary Anne Clark, Ph.D.
In the 19th century, a man called Charles Darwin, a biologist from England, set off on the ship HMS Beagle to investigate species of the island.
After spending time on the islands, he soon developed a theory that would contradict the creation of man and imply that all species derived from common ancestors through a process called natural selection. Natural selection is considered to be the biggest factor resulting in the diversity of species and their genomes. The principles of Darwin’s work and his theory are stated below.
This ‘weeding out’ of less suited organisms and the reward of survival to those better suited led Darwin to deduce that organisms had evolved over time, where the most desirable characteristics of a species are favored and those organisms who exhibit them survive to pass their genes on.
As a consequence of this, a changing environment would mean different characteristics would be favorable in a changing environment. Darwin believed that organisms had ‘evolved’ to suit their environments, and occupy an ecological niche where they would be best suited to their environment and therefore have the best chance of survival.
As the above indicates, those alleles of a species that are favored in the environment will become more frequent in the genomes of the species, due to the organisms higher likeliness of surviving as part of the species at large
The above indicated the theory of natural selection. The next tutorial gives some good examples of natural selection in action.
|NATURAL SELECTION – TRUE OR FALSE
A true-or-false quiz to test the grasp of the underlying concepts and ideas on natural selection. Evaluate your student’s understanding of Charles Darwin’s theory and examples of natural selection.
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