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General Zoology Notes:

Lecture 1

NATURAL SELECTION – process that results in the ADAPTATION of an organism to its


ENVIRONMENT by means of selectively reproducing changes in its genotype or genetic
constitution.

In the book of Charles Darwin The Origin of Species by Natural Selection, published in
1859, Darwin synthesized many new findings in geology and biology. He presented a
wealth of evidence that the present forms of life descended, with modifications, from
previously existing forms.

This raised controversy in both Religion and Science.

Darwin based his theory of natural selection on the following four observations:

1. Individual members of a species show some variation from one another.


2. Organisms produce many more offspring than will survive to reproduce. EXAMPLE
Rana sylvatica, a wood frog. Many more eggs are produced than can possibly
develop into adult.
3. Organisms compete for necessary resources such as food, sunlight, and space.
4. The survivors that reproduce pass their adaptations for survival on to their
offspring.

The environment selects the best adapted organisms for survival.

Note that the adaptation involves changes in populations rather than in


individual organisms.