Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford

Adaptive Radiation

  • Divya SinghEmail author
  • Paushali Ghosh
  • Anuj Kumar Singh
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_411-1



Adaptive radiation can be defined as a type of evolutionary process in which organisms show diversification in physical and anatomical structure from their ancestral species for better adaptations to the changing environment (Schluter 2000).


According to Charles Darwin’s book Origin of Species, various processes have played an important role in the evolution of spectacular biological diversity on Earth. Among all, adaptive radiation has been considered as the most crucial factor for maintaining this diversity. It is comprised of two main features: speciation (formation of new species driven by certain ecological conditions) and phenotypic adaptation resulting in the emergence of an array of new species showing distinct morphological and physiological characters. This phenomenon was first put forward by Darwin during his voyage to the Galápagos Islands (Grant 1999) and relies on the...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Divya Singh
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paushali Ghosh
    • 1
  • Anuj Kumar Singh
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Biotechnology, Institute of ScienceBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Skin and Venereal diseaseLLRM Medical CollegeMeerutIndia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Suzanne MacDonald
    • 1
  1. 1.York UniversityTorontoCanada