Chapter

Adaptedness, Natural Selection, and the Conditions for Existence

John O. Reiss

in Not by Design

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780520258938
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520944404 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520258938.003.0010
Adaptedness, Natural Selection, and the Conditions for Existence

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This chapter discusses the meaning of adaptedness, and examines its relation both to natural selection and to the conditions for existence. Adaptedness means a certain appropriateness or fit between the various aspects of an organism's morphology, physiology, lifestyle, and environment. The chapter provides examples to explain how the adaptedness of a trait relates to its evolutionary history and how it relates to the process of adaptation. It also examines the experimental evolution of bacteria, peppered moths, and Darwin's finches, which shows that natural selection in evolution is a factor maintaining the adaptedness in the face of environmental change and associated changes in the mode of adaptedness.

Keywords: adaptedness; natural selection; conditions for existence; adaptation; experimental evolution; bacteria; peppered moths; finches

Chapter.  10057 words. 

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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