Speciation

What is Meant By Speciation?

Speciation is an elaborate process of forming a new species from other existing species. The meaning of Speciation includes splitting of one species into two or more genetically distinct species. 

The definition of Speciation indicates that it takes place through continuous mutation of genes. After making several changes in habit, the living things show unique characteristics, some of which are transferred to their offspring.

Let’s focus on what is Speciation and its distinctive nature!

Different Kinds of Speciation

There are primarily five types of Speciation exist. 

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  1. Allopatric- This kind of Speciation occurs when one particular species moves away from each other because of the geographical barrier, like waterway or mountain range. Each of the groups then develops a different characteristic. 

  2. Parapatric- In this method of Speciation, a species share a common geographical area. But they only breed within their preferred region. Therefore within the same region, they show varied characteristic and nature. 

  3. Peripatric- Unlike allopatric, this Speciation happens due to change in habitation. However, in the process, they gain several character traits and pass on their offspring.

  4. Sympatric- Sympatric Speciation takes place when several members of a species are living closely. However, they mate with other members based on specific food habits or environment. 

  5. Artificial- It results from lab experiments and scientific advancement. Humans carry research work on other living organisms like fruit flies and create new species. 

Now that you know what is Speciation and its types, write down the stages of Speciation in details. 

Speciation Factors

Mainly there are five factors responsible for Speciation. 

  • Geographical Isolation- Geographical barriers like rivers, mountains, deserts separate a species into several groups. The members of each group adapt to a new environment and appear as a new species. It is considered as one of the most significant causes of Speciation.  

  • Natural Selection- According to Darwin’s theory of natural selection, the fittest ones are to survive. For example, a group of insects are living in A environment and another in B. If you interchange their environment, only a few insects will survive in the new changed environment. This newly formed species will pass on their characteristics to the future generation. 

  • Genetic Drift- Because of the change in the living place of any living thing, the pattern of gene flow changes. Also, non-adaptive mutations play a vital role in forming a new species. 

  • Reproduction Isolation- These factors ultimately lead to extreme variations among a group of organisms. As a result, they lose the ability to reproduce and create a different kind of species. 

  • Hybridisation- Using this artificial process, humans produce new species. Members from each of two different lineages are mated to create a new species. Usually, animal husbandry uses this method. Two such examples are Jaglion (male Jaguar and female Lion) and Cama (Male Camel and female Llama).  

Fill the gap: ____________ is found in a small population with or without mutated genes. 

Ans. Genetic Drift. 

Examples of Speciation

For instance, a species of fish were living in a particular region of ocean. Because of a sudden change in water current, a few had to shift to the other side of the sea. Therefore, they develop a few new habits and appear as a new species of fish. 

Besides, some other Speciation examples are Hawthorn fly, squirrels in the south and north rims of the Grand Canyon, Apple Maggot and many more. 

MCQ 

1. Which is NOT a part of Reproductive Isolation?

  1. Temporal

  2. Behavioural

  3. Individual

  4. Ecological

Ans. C.

2. In which aspect, the gene ratio stays constant in a species?

  1. Mutation

  2. Random mating

  3. Gene flow

  4. Sexual selection

Ans. B. 

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is Speciation?

Ans. In simple words, Speciation is a process of forming a new kind of species from the existing ones. There are several reasons for this process. 

2. How Does Speciation Take Place? 

Ans. Speciation takes place in 3 stages- separation, adaptation and reproductive isolation. 

3. How Fast Speciation Happens?

Ans. Process of Speciation takes a long period of time. It usually occurs after thousands of years or many decades.