Speciation

Causes, Process, & Types

Oct 11, 2023 - 01:21
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evolution: new species

Discover how Galapagos finches underwent adaptive radiation and aided Darwin in his theory of evolutionDiscover how Galapagos finches underwent adaptive radiation and aided Darwin in his theory of evolutionSee all videos for this article

speciation, the formation of new and distinct species in the course of evolution. Speciation involves the splitting of a single evolutionary lineage into two or more genetically independent lineages.

Study the unique evolution of species adaptions and biological diversity in the Galapagos IslandsStudy the unique evolution of species adaptions and biological diversity in the Galapagos IslandsSee all videos for this article

In eukaryotic species—that is, those whose cells possess a clearly defined nucleus—two important processes occur during speciation: the splitting up of one gene pool into two or more separated gene pools (genetic separation) and the diversification of an array of observable physical characteristics (phenotypic differentiation) in a population (see population ecology). There are many hypotheses about how speciation starts, and they differ mainly in the role of geographic isolation and the origin of reproductive isolation (the prevention of two populations or more from interbreeding with one another).

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