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Differences Between Artificial Selection and Natural Selection

Artificial Selection vs Natural Selection

Have you often wondered how several species of plants and animals exist? This is because organisms reproduce and breed. A new life may be born out of artificial selection or natural selection. This article will provide you with answers on why organisms have different traits from one another, and what exactly are the differences between artificial selection and natural selection.

If you’re asking yourself why dogs have several breeds, it is because they have undergone artificial selection. Artificial selection is the unnatural breeding of either plants or animals. Humans usually initiate this unnatural process to create a more desirable trait or characteristic. Artificial selection is also termed as “unnatural selection” or “selective breeding.”
For example, a lot of our domesticated dogs come from the lineage of the wolf, their original ancestors. Humans conduct experiments on how to breed a less aggressive canine pet through artificial selection. From the lineage of the wolf, we now have different dog breeds like Bulldogs, Collies, Dachshunds, etc. Humans favor artificial selection because we can breed plants and animals with more desirable traits. However, due to artificial selection, even if we have successfully created a new breed, the artificially selected life is not suited to live in the wild. Artificially selected plants and animals cannot survive in the wild because they often develop genetic defects. So it is best to take care of them in our homes.
Basically, artificial selection is controlled by humans. If humans want to have meatier cows, they often choose a female and a male cow that both have large bodies. When the two cows mate, most likely their offspring will also be fat and big. A continued practice of this mating will soon end the line of skinny cows. As for plants, take a look at the different species of rice plants. Some rice plants bear plump grains while some produce skinny grains. This is also a result of artificial selection. Agricultural farmers can now breed different species of rice plants together to produce their desired grains.
On the other hand, the natural selection process is the work of nature. Humans don’t interfere with the plant’s or animal’s breeding. An offspring will be born out of natural factors and favorable conditions. For example, records show that some giraffes have shorter necks than other giraffes. Over time, the giraffes with shorter necks are gone in the wild because the instinct of a giraffe with a longer neck is to mate only with a giraffe with a longer neck. A longer neck ensures its offspring has a stronger chance for survival.

Another example is the tiger with striped fur. Nature greatly favors tigers with striped fur because it allows them to easily sneak up on their prey. On the other hand, tigers with fewer stripes or no stripes at all do not survive long in the wild because they are easily detected by their prey, and then they will run away. Natural selection often deals with how a particular species or breed is wiped out in history. Nature might be tough on the wild plants and animals, but that’s just how everything goes – only the fittest survives.

Summary:

  1. Artificial selection is also called “selective breeding” and “unnatural selection.” It is a selection process wherein humans interfere with the mating activity of organisms.
  2. Natural selection is the work of nature itself. Plants and animals breed according to the flow of nature.
  3. Artificial selection favors the creation of organisms with more desirable traits while natural selection favors the creation of the fittest organisms that can survive in the wild.

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