Adaptation Improves Fitness

by Jason Amores Sumpter
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in this video, we're going to begin our lesson on natural selection and evolution. But before we can actually define natural selection and evolution, we first need to introduce adaptation of living organisms and how adaptation leads to improved fitness of the organisms. And so, as you guys have probably already realized, living organisms are really well suited to their environments, and this is due to adaptation. And so adaptation is really defined as the process that enables living organisms to improve their survival and reproduction in their environments. And so this penguin that we're showing you down here is really, really well suited to it's extremely cold environment. And so although the environment that the penguin lives in is extremely cold, the penguin is still able to remain warm in these cold environments. And so the penguin is really well adapted or really well suited to its environment, and it's capable of surviving and reproducing in its environment. Whereas the camel over here is really, really well suited to its environment, which is going to be a hot and dry desert, and the camels have adapted in such a way where their humps contain water that allow them to sustain and survive and reproduce, and they're extremely hot and dry climates. And although this here might look like a leaf, it's actually an insect that has adapted to its leafy environment in a forest on this allows it to survive and reproduce and its environment. And, of course, polar bears and snakes and all living organisms are really well suited and adapted to their environment so that they can improve their survival and reproduction. Now the term fitness, when used by biologists, is very different than the way that you and I might use the term fitness in our everyday life. And so fitness is not referring to an animal's six pack or anything like that. Instead, fitness, when used by biologists, is referring to an organism's ability to both survive and reproduce. And so when we say that adaptation is the process that enables and organisms to improve survival and reproduction, we could also say that it's the process that enables organisms to improve fitness, and that's exactly what we're seeing up above here. That adaptation improves the fitness, and so this here concludes our introduction to adaptation and how it improves fitness, and in our next lesson, video will be able to introduce natural selection. So I'll see you guys in that video