Evolution 101- part 13: Survival of the Fittest or Just Survival of the Survivors?

Posted: 06/10/2014 in Absolute Truth

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Remember, normal text is copied from Evolution 101 by the Understanding Evolution team! (Celebrating Christmas by cursing the Virgin Mary since 1998) http://evolution.berkeley.edu/

BOLD font is me, Rent A Friend 2000, being Bold.

What about fitness?

Hey! I did pushups AND sit ups yesterday. 12 of EACH!

Biologists use the word fitness to describe how good a particular genotype is at leaving offspring in the next generation relative to how good other genotypes are at it. So if brown beetles consistently leave more offspring than green beetles because of their color, you’d say that the brown beetles had a higher fitness.

 fitbeetles
The brown beetles have a greater fitness relative to the green beetles.

Of course, fitness is a relative thing. A genotype’s fitness depends on the environment in which the organism lives. The fittest genotype during an ice age, for example, is probably not the fittest genotype once…

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