An Interesting Example of Genetic Drift: Elk Stuck Between Rocks

Kane Khanh | Archeaology
April 8, 2024

In the photo below, we see the remains of an elk (a large deer species) that died after getting stuck between two rocks. At the same time, this photo wonderfully shows the relationship between Genetic Drift and Natural Selection, two important mechanisms of evolution.

An Interesting Example of Genetic Drift: Elk Stuck Between Rocks! - Tree of Evolution reddit

Sometimes your survival or reproductive success may be dysfunctional; Because being in the wrong place at the wrong time can bring you death. Likewise, even if you are sometimes weak and reproductively unsuccessful, you can still survive and reproduce by being in the right place at the right time. In other words, the evolutionary struggle for existence is not only about genetic and internal factors; It is also related to environmental conditions and their luck effect. For this reason, there is a constant fluctuation in diversity.

The remains of this caribou in Greenland : r/oddlyterrifying

If there were not some advantageous and disadvantageous situations based on chance, diversity would be fixed in a short time due to selection. However, the diversity that is constantly created due to genetic reasons such as mutations and gene crossovers, when combined with Genetic Drift, the most important mechanism behind the chance factor in evolution, causes fluctuations in diversity. Within this fluctuation, the most adaptable and successful survive and reproduce; Thus, their genes (which are generally advantageous genes) are passed on to future generations and they increase in number. Others are eliminated along with their own weak genes. Thus, living things differentiate slowly and gradually over generations and adapt to their environments. This is evolution.

Pin by yuni on 骨 | Hunting art, Animals wild, Mule deer hunting

In this process, sometimes geographical and biological isolations can separate living groups from each other and cause them to adapt to different conditions. Accordingly, two descendant species with different characteristics may arise from a single ancestral group. This is speciation itself as a result of evolution!

Dead moose stuck in a crack

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