Patterns of Evolution
Humans alter our environment to suit our needs rather than adapt to our environment based on environmental stressors. Due to this fact, we are unlikely to be affected by the pressures of natural selection. We will not likely be affected by further evolution. In convergent evolution, unrelated species living in the similar environments become more and more alike in appearance as they adapt to the same kind of environment. Dolphins and sharks are examples of convergent evolution. Although they are from different vertebrate groups, they live in similar environment. They have evolved similar characteristics like their body shape, coloration, location of back fins, and shape of tail. Divergent evolution is the process of two or more related species becoming more and more dissimilar. Adaptive radiation is an example of divergent evolution. Horses are an example of divergent evolution. Over time as they adapted to different environments, the species diverged and evolved into mules and zebras. Honeycreeper birds are examples of adaptive radiation. Species of birds evolved, seemingly from a single familial species, on a group of islands. Co-evolution is the evolution of one species influencing the evolution of another species. Predators and their prey sometimes co-evolve. Cheetahs and Thompson’s gazelles are examples of co-evolution. As a result of co-evolution, Cheetahs have evolved into the world`s fastest mammal and the gazelle is just slightly slower. As predators evolve, prey evolves and vice versa. Divergent evolution could have an impact on humans in the future. Although we are all different in appearances and characteristics right now, we could diverge in the future. Climates are different all over the world and as human move to and habitat in these environments, the body could adapt to the different atmosphere. This will cause humans to diverge in appearance. Head shape could change, skin and eye color as...
References: Pruitt, N. L., & Underwood, L. S. (2006). Bioinquiry: Making connections in biology (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
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