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Download Evolution of Species and Explore Thousands of Planets with Unique Life Forms


Evolution of Species: What Is It and How Can You Experience It?




Have you ever wondered how life on Earth came to be so diverse and complex? How did simple microscopic organisms evolve into millions of different species, from bacteria to blue whales, from fungi to ferns, from ants to humans? How can you observe and experiment with the process of evolution yourself?


In this article, we will explore the concept of evolution of species, which is the change in the characteristics of biological populations over time. We will look at some examples of evolution in nature, and how scientists study them. We will also introduce some simulation tools and games that allow you to create and manipulate virtual creatures and see how they evolve in different environments. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of what evolution is, how it works, and why it is important for life on Earth.




evolution of species download



Introduction




What is evolution of species?




Evolution is the process by which species adapt over time in response to their changing environment. A species is a group of organisms that can interbreed and produce fertile offspring. Evolution occurs because of a phenomenon called natural selection, which favours different characteristics in different environments. As a result of mutation, genetic recombination and other sources of genetic variation, different characteristics tend to exist within any given population. The accumulation of differences eventually yields different species.


What are some examples of evolution of species in nature?




Evolution is a scientific theory that is supported by a vast amount of evidence from various fields, such as genetics, paleontology, biogeography, anatomy, embryology, and molecular biology. Some examples of evolution in nature are the coloration of the peppered moth, which changed from white to dark to blend in with the soot-covered buildings of industrial London, and the fossil record of human ancestors, which shows links between us and apes.


How can you simulate evolution of species on your computer?




Simulating evolution is a way of testing hypotheses and exploring scenarios that are difficult or impossible to observe directly in nature. Computer simulation is a technique that uses mathematical models and algorithms to mimic the behaviour of real systems. There are many simulation tools and games that allow you to model evolution of species on your computer, such as Natural Selection - Mutation - PhET Interactive Simulations, The Life Engine, Simulating Human Origins and Evolution - Cambridge University Press, Species: Artificial Life, Real Evolution on Steam, Evolution of Species - Apps on Google Play, and Evolution of Species 2 - Apps on Google Play. These tools and games let you create your own creatures, manipulate their genes, expose them to different environments, and observe how they evolve over time.


Evolution of Species: Definition and Examples




Definition of evolution of species




Evolutionary species concept




An evolutionary species, suggested by George Gaylord Simpson in 1961, is a lineage of organisms that maintains its identity from other such lineages and has its own evolutionary tendencies and historical fate. In other words, an evolutionary species is a group of organisms that share a common ancestor and evolve together as a unit. This concept is different from the biological species concept, which defines a species as a group of organisms that can interbreed and produce fertile offspring. The biological species concept does not account for extinct species, asexual species, or hybridization events.


Natural selection and adaptation




Natural selection is the mechanism by which evolution occurs. It is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in their traits. Those individuals that have traits that are better suited to their environment tend to survive and reproduce more than those that do not. This leads to an increase in the frequency of those traits in the population over time. Adaptation is the process by which a population becomes more fit for its environment as a result of natural selection. An adaptation is a trait that enhances the survival or reproduction of an organism in a particular environment.


Speciation and divergence




Speciation is the process by which new species arise from existing ones. It occurs when populations of the same species become isolated from each other and accumulate enough genetic differences to prevent interbreeding. Isolation can be caused by geographic barriers, ecological factors, behavioural changes, or reproductive incompatibilities. Divergence is the accumulation of differences between populations or species over time. It can result from natural selection, genetic drift, gene flow, or mutation. Divergence can lead to speciation if the populations become reproductively isolated.


Examples of evolution of species in nature




Darwin's finches




Darwin's finches are a group of about 15 species of birds that live on the Galapagos Islands. They are named after Charles Darwin, who studied them during his voyage on the HMS Beagle in 1835. Darwin noticed that the finches had different beak shapes and sizes, depending on what they ate and where they lived. He realized that they had evolved from a common ancestor that arrived on the islands from mainland South America. He proposed that natural selection had shaped their beaks to adapt to different food sources and environments on the islands.


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Peppered moths




Peppered moths are a species of moths that live in England. They have two forms: a light form and a dark form. The light form has white wings with black spots, while the dark form has black wings with white spots. Before the Industrial Revolution, most peppered moths were light, because they could blend in with the lichen-covered trees and avoid predation by birds. However, during the Industrial Revolution, pollution killed the lichens and darkened the trees with soot. This made the light moths more visible and vulnerable to predators, while the dark moths had an advantage. As a result, the frequency of the dark form increased dramatically in polluted areas.


Human ancestors




Human ancestors are a group of extinct species that are closely related to modern humans. They belong to the genus Homo, which also includes our own species, Homo sapiens. Some examples of human ancestors are Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Homo neanderthalensis, and Homo floresiensis. These species evolved from a common ancestor that lived about 7 million years ago in Africa. They differed from each other in various traits, such as brain size, body shape, tool use, language, and culture. They also migrated to different regions of the world and interacted with each other.


Evolution of Species: Simulation and Games




Simulation of evolution of species




Natural Selection - Mutation - PhET Interactive Simulations




This is an online simulation tool that allows you to explore how natural selection and mutation affect the evolution of populations of rabbits. You can adjust various parameters, such as mutation rate, environmental factors, predators, and population size, and observe how they affect the traits and frequencies of rabbits over time.


The Life Engine




This is an online simulation tool that allows you to create your own virtual creatures and see how they evolve in different environments. You can design your creatures by choosing their body parts, colors, textures, behaviours, and genes. You can also modify their environment by changing the temperature, gravity, food availability, predators, and obstacles.


Simulating Human Origins and Evolution - Cambridge University Press




This is an online simulation tool that allows you to explore how human ancestors evolved over time. You can choose different scenarios based on real fossil evidence and see how different factors, such as climate, migration, gene flow, and selection, influenced the evolution of human traits, such as skin color, hair texture, eye shape, and brain size.


Games based on evolution of species




Species: Artificial Life, Real Evolution on


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