DragonflyIssuesInEvolution13 Wiki

Relationship Between Natural Selection and Adaptation[]

According to Anderson (2011), natural selection is differential reproductive success, which leads to high fitness and eventually adaptations. Freeman and Herron (2007) stated that "natural selection is the process that produces adaptations, (that) genetic variation is the raw material from which adaptions are molded" (p. 388). In my own words, I feel that natural selection is like creating the perfect recipe for the environment that you are in. It requires the right ingredients (or genetic variation), the right preparation (or phenotypes), which then leads to a successful recipe that creates species that have high fitness and therefore high reproductive success. But then we need to account for environmental changes. Just like in baking, different things like the oven type or altitude can affect how your cookie crumbles. This is where adaptation comes in. Adaptations occur to provides some improved function for a species. Just like how we sometimes need to adjust something to create a perfect recipe, adaptations occur to make a species better suited to its environment and therefore improves its changes to being able to reproduce. Futuyma (2009) defines adaptations as "a characteristic that has evolved by natural selection" (p. 279) and I agree. I feel that adaptations occur as a by-product of natural selection and environmental changes.


Andersen, P. (2011). Natural Selection. Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6La6_kIr9g
Freeman, S. & Herron, J. (2007). Evolutionary Analysis 4th Ed. Form and Function, pp 363-396.
Futuyma, F.J. 2009. Evolution. 2nd Ed. Chapter 11. Retrieved from http://ncse.com/files/pub/evolution/Evolution--Futuyma--chap11.pdf

ParrMr. (2012). Adaptation Song. Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0N0wVq4nUBU