the diversification of an ancestral group of organisms into a variety of related forms specialized to fit different environments or ways of life, each often further diversifying into more specialized types.
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How to use adaptive radiation in a sentence
Hybridization in cichlid ancestors could even have triggered the adaptive radiations that produced so many species.
This fact confirmed for the researchers that Tanganyika’s cichlids were ideal subjects for testing ideas about adaptive radiation — an evolutionary event in which many diverse species emerge rapidly and adapt to new environmental niches.
This cichlid data set gives a uniquely detailed and rich picture of adaptive radiation, but these patterns may not hold in all cases.
British Dictionary definitions for adaptive radiation
evolution of a number of divergent species from a common ancestor, each species becoming adapted to occupy a different environment. This type of evolution occurred in the Tertiary manuals and the Mesozoic reptiles
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Scientific definitions for adaptive radiation
The evolutionary diversification of a species or single ancestral lineage into various forms that are each adaptively specialized to a specific environmental niche. Adaptive radiation generally proceeds most rapidly in environments where there are numerous unoccupied niches or where competition for resources is minimal. See Note at adaptation.
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