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Mechanisms of evolution (3 of 4) Genetic drift

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Imagine that in one generation, two brown beetles happened to have four offspring survive to reproduce. Several green beetles were killed when someone stepped on them and had no offspring. The next generation would have a few more brown beetles than the previous generation — but just by chance. These chance changes from generation to generation are known as genetic drift.

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Mechanisms of evolution (2 of 4) Migration
Some individuals from a population of brown beetles might have joined a population of green beetles. That would make the genes for brown beetles more frequent in the green beetle population.

Mechanisms of evolution (1 of 4) Mutation
A mutation could cause parents with genes for bright green coloration to have offspring with a gene for brown coloration. That would make the genes for brown beetles more frequent in the population.

Mechanisms of evolution (4 of 4) Natural selection
Imagine that green beetles are easier for birds to spot (and hence, eat). Brown beetles are a little more likely to survive to produce offspring. They pass their genes for brown coloration on to their offspring. So in the next generation, brown beetles are more common than in the previous generation.