An example of the adaptation are some plants which have adapted their life in the deserts or the Grey whales who migrate thousands of miles every year from the cold Arctic Ocean to the coast of Mexico. However, an example of evolution is Darwin’s Finches, which are the finches on the Galapagos Islands, where all have developed different beaks, originally these finched used to had a large beak for cracking nuts.
So, adaptation contradicts evolution in the sense that adaptation is the biological process through which a plant or animal species becomes fitted to the environment, while evolution is the alteration of the genetic material and further these changes are seen in new species also.
It is also said that evolution is the subset of adaptation, which means evolution is said as the larger part than adaptation. In a broad sense, it is sometimes argued that these are the one and same words. There are numerous ways by which living organisms adapt their needs to cop up with the changes in the surrounding and to remain fit with it.
Although in layman language, any changes in any kind of living being are the adaptation and if it continues in the next generations also than it is said as the evolution. Our Earth has witnessed many changes since millions of years, with the time major changes have been observed which continues. In this content, we will discuss how adaptation and evolution differ with a brief description of them.
Content: Adaptation Vs Evolution
|Basis for Comparison||Adaptation||Evolution|
|Meaning||The process of adjusting the body to fit according to the environment is called an adaptation, and these can be the development of physical or behavioural characteristics.||The genetic change in any species which are permanent and may give rise to the new species.|
|Type of change||This is the phenotypic level change.||This is the genotypic level change.|
|Causes of change||Adaptation occurs due to the environmental effect or sudden change in the atmosphere in which an organism is living. ||Evolution occurs due to speciation.|
|Short/Long Term||It is a short term change.||It is a long-term change.|
|Reversibility||Adaptation is a reversible change.||Evolution occurs over the generation, and it is an irreversible change.|
|Result in||This process results in changes among species (phenotypic variation).||Evolution always results in the formation of a new species.|
Definition of Adaptation
Adaptation is the process by which living being become fitted to their environment, and it occurs due to the natural selection upon heritable variation. From the simpler organism to the larger one, each must be adapted in a great variety of ways like, in their physiology, structure, and genetics, in their locomotion, in their reproduction, defence and attack mechanism, as well other development.
Adaptation can be structural or behavioural, if it is related to the physical part of an organism, it is known as structural adaptation, while if the adaptation in which the act of an organism changes it is called as the behavioural adaptation.
Deserts plants which have adapted their life in dry, hot places are the best examples of the structural adaptations. These are called succulents and survive by storing water in their thick leaves and stems. The example of the structural adaptation is the Camouflage, where the small organisms change their skin colour according to the environment.
The growth and development, searching for food, mating patterns, vocalization patterns fall under behavioural adaptation. Mimicry is an example of this adaptation.
Definition of Evolution
The process of changes over time, generation by generation is evolution. These changes can be due to mutations, genetic drift, natural selection, etc. This theory was first fully postulated by Charles Darwin. The evolution at small scale is microevolution, and the evolution or changes at high scale is called macroevolution. In macroevolution, the genetic changes are higher, and so it may result in new species.
Evolution by natural selection is the most widely accepted theories to date, supported by the evidence from the wide sources and scientific disciplines like genetics, geology, paleontology and developmental biology.
The peppered moth had a light colouring which darkened after the Industrial Revolution which was due to the pollution of that time. Secondly whenever the pesticide (an insect resistant) is used, after some time all insects will develop immunity to it and when they will reproduce and give birth to their next generation where the length of the insects become short. There are many examples of the evolution which can be noticed in every organism.
Key Differences Between Adaptation and Evolution
Following points will exhibit how adaptation and mutation vary:
- The process of adjusting the body to fit according to the environment is called an adaptation, and these can be the development of the physical or behavioral characteristics, where evolution is the genetic change in any species which are permanent and may give rise to the new species. Evolution is of two types micro and macroevolution.
- Adaptation is the phenotypic level change and occurs due to sudden changes in the environment of a living organism. On the contrary, evolution is the genotypic level change and occurs due to gene flow, genetic drift or mutation or any kind of alteration in the genes.
- Adaptation is a short term and reversible change, but evolution is long-term change and permanent and results in the formation of new species.
- Adaptation process results in changes among species (phenotypic variation), whereas evolution always results in the formation of a new species.
Adaptation and evolution both are the changes to make fit the lives with their needs and surrounding. These are said as the essence for the survival of a living being in their habitat, and thus increasing their survival rates, where one type of change is a temporary one, and another is the permanent one.