Difference Between Adaptation And Natural Selection

The difference between adaptation and natural selection is easy to understand once we learn the meaning of the two concepts:

  • Adaptation – Adaptation is a biological mechanism where organisms adapt or adjust to changes in their current environment or in a new environment. The changes can either be behavioural or physical changes.
  • Natural Selection – Natural selection is a mechanism for evolution, where organisms change over time as a result of changes in its heritable behavioural or physical traits.

We shall explore more differences between these two concepts in the following table:

Difference Between Adaptation And Natural Selection

Adaptation

Natural Selection

Overview

A characteristic that increases the chances of survival

A tendency where traits (which are beneficial) increase in frequency in a population.

Example

Ancestors of peacocks (males) had very long, colourful tails. This is an adaptation, but it often hindered the ability to flee from predators.

The peahens prefer to mate with the males that had long colourful tails more often than males that did not possess such long extravagant tails. Hence, the trait for long colourful tails passed on to modern peacocks.

Frequently Asked Questions on Adaptation and Natural selection

What is the difference between natural selection and adaptation?

Adaptation is a biological mechanism where organisms adapt or adjust to changes in their current environment or in a new environment. The changes can either be behavioural or physical changes. On the other hand, natural selection is a mechanism for evolution, where organisms change over time as a result of changes in its heritable behavioural or physical traits.

Further Reading:

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