What is Natural Selection?

  • Google+ icon
  • LinkedIn icon
  • 788 views

Natural Selection is the accepted theory of evolution first postulated by Charles Darwin and can be thought of as 'survival of the fittest'. It is the process by which a species gradually evolves through time. 

How does it work?

- All organisms within a species show variation between each other due to differences in their genes. 

- Only those characteristics coded for in an organisms genes can be passed on to their offspring. Variation caused by the environment cannot be inherited. 

- Those individuals with characteristics that make them more suited to the environment ( e.g. a finch with a beak shape better suited to eating the food available) will be more likely to survive and reproduce. These genes coding for the successful characteristic are then passed onto their offspring.

- Those individuals with characteristics poorly adapted to the environment are less likely to survive and reproduce. Therefore their genes are less likely to be passed to offspring. 

- As these advantageous genes accumulate throughout the generations, a species gradually evolves. 

Ellie W. GCSE Biology tutor, A Level Biology tutor, A Level Extended ...

About the author

is an online GCSE Biology tutor who tutored with MyTutor studying at Exeter University

Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist.

95% of our customers rate us

Browse tutors

We use cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok