In biology, evolution is defined as the change in the genetic makeup of animals from one generation to the next. Although these changes are minute and often unnoticeable between a single generation, the effects evolution may have on a species over many generations, often over a span of thousands of years, are quite drastic and sometimes even result in the emergence of a new species. The term evolution often goes hand in hand with the famous phrase, “Survival of the fittest” because evolution is the process in which animals are able to adapt to the constantly changing environment and ecosystems in order to better suit them for their survival.
Evolution is based on the fact that genes are passed from one generation to the next. Although very little of the genetic makeup changes between a single generation, the process of genetic variation, mutations, and genetic recombinations over long periods of time is what results in the evolution of a species. Evolution is also greatly influenced by mechanisms known as genetic drift and natural selection, which result in animals with evolutionary traits that increase their chance of survival becoming more dominant than animals with evolutionary traits that do not increase the animal’s chance of survival. One of the most famous scientists to study evolution and even propose the theory of evolution is Charles Darwin, who published his findings in On the Origin of Species.