Evolution Adaptive Radiation Research Paper - 1997 Words



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Evolution Adaptive Radiation

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Adaptive radiation occurs most often in new environment with a variety of different unfilled niches so that plants and animals that are not adapted to those areas can exploit the resources in the respective niches. Once individuals begin exploiting the new niches, mutations that will benefit the species will spread throughout the population via natural selection giving the owners an overwhelming advantage over others without the mutation and throughout evolutionary time a new species is established. If sexual selection is linked to these mutations a new species can be established even faster. For example if a few individuals of a seed eating bird were to start eating fruit due to a surplus of fruit in the environment a few mutations would appear to make them better fruit eaters, which also happen to coincide with a change in the birds aesthetics or song, then the fruit eating birds may decide to mate amongst each other rather than seed eaters. Furthermore even if seed and fruit eaters were to interbreed, the result could be a bird that is neither a dominant seed nor fruit eater and lose out to purebred seed and bird eaters. The hybrids would be eliminated by natural selection due to decreased output capacity. Natural selection will then result in more district plumage or songs of fruit eaters allowing them to be identified with other fruit eaters avoiding mating with seed eaters.

Other individuals of the same seed eating ancestral species may find nectar as a viable source of food and evolve over time via natural selection into a new species.

Adaptive radiation is when a single species evolves into a number of distinct yet closely related species. Each new species is adapted to live in a different ecological niche. This process usually occurs when a variety of new resources are made available and are not used by any other species.  

An example would be Dwarven’s finches. There are 13 different species that live in the Galapagos Islands all evolved from a common ancestor. Assuming that all the finches all had medium sized beaks that fed on medium sized seeds; individual with smaller beaks would have an easier time eating smaller seeds however there could be other birds that have already adapted for consumption of smaller seeds. This is the same for the birds with larger beaks. Other birds from a different species may already be programmed to consume seeds and thus competition is introduced.  

Adaptive radiation is when a species is introduced into a new environment when competitors or predators are eliminated by a catastrophe and thus the species becomes isolated from competition. This can happen via mass extinction, continental drift or induction. Some examples of species that developed from are lemurs from primitive primates on the island of Madagascar, and a diverse range of primitive mammals that evolved into terrestrial, avian and aquatic forms during the tertiary period,  

Bailey, Jill. "adaptive radiation." Science Online. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 18 Dec. 2012. . Record URL: 
adaptive radiation
From: Encyclopedia of Biodiversity.
Adaptive radiation has nothing to do with unstable isotopes. It’s a form of evolution in which many different species have a single common ancestor.  
Throughout the history of the world, species have become extinct by natural selection or simple misfortune while others produced many new species as a result of adaptive radiation. Adaptive radiation can occur when a species is relocated to a new location which the founding population undergoes adaptive radiation or the surviving remnants of a population of a once widespread species undergoes adaptive radiation. The result is increase in biodiversity over evolutionary time as the ancestral population separate into distinct populations that do not interbreed thus allowing different... Show More

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