Outline of evolution

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to evolution:

A diagram showing the relationships between various groups of organisms

Evolution is change in the heritable characteristics of biological organisms over generations due to natural selection, mutation, gene flow, and genetic drift. Also known as descent with modification. Over time these evolutionary processes lead to formation of new species (speciation), changes within lineages (anagenesis), and loss of species (extinction). "Evolution" is also another name for evolutionary biology, the subfield of biology concerned with studying evolutionary processes that produced the diversity of life on Earth.

Fundamentals about evolution[edit]


Basic principles[edit]

  • Macroevolution – evolution on a scale at or above the level of species
    • Speciation – evolutionary process by which populations evolve to become distinct species
      • Natural speciation
      • Artificial speciation
        • Animal husbandry – management, selective breeding, and care of farm animals by humans
        • Plant breeding – art and science of changing the traits of plants in order to produce desired characteristics
        • Genetic engineering – manipulation of an organism's genome
      • Hybrid speciation – form of speciation involving hybridization between two different species
    • Despeciation – loss of a unique species of animal due to its combining with another previously distinct species
    • Anagenesis – gradual evolutionary change in a species without splitting
    • Extinction – termination of a taxon by the death of the last member
  • Microevolution – change in allele frequencies that occurs over time within a population
    • Artificial selection – breeding used to develop desired characteristics
    • Natural selection – mechanism of evolution by differential survival and reproduction of individuals
      • Sexual selection – mode of natural selection involving the choosing of and competition for mates
    • Mutation – alteration in the nucleotide sequence of a genome
    • Gene flow – transfer of genetic variation from one population to another
    • Genetic drift – concept in genetics



Evolutionary theory and modelling[edit]

See also Basic principles (above)

Population genetics[edit]

Evolutionary phenomena[edit]


Taxonomy, systematics, and phylogeny[edit]


Basic concepts of phylogenetics[edit]

  • Phylogenetic tree – branching diagram of evolutionary relationships between organisms
  • Phylogenetic network – graph used to visualize evolutionary relationships, including reticulation events
  • Long branch attraction – systematic error in phylogenetics
  • Clade – group of a common ancestor and all descendants
  • Grade – non-monophyletic grouping of organisms united by morphological or physiological characteristics
  • Ghost lineage – phylogenetic lineage that is inferred to exist but has no fossil record

Inference methods[edit]

Current topics[edit]

Group Traits[edit]

Group Types[edit]

  • Monophyly – property of a group of including all taxa descendant from a common ancestral species
  • Paraphyly – type of taxonomic group
  • Polyphyly – property of a group not united by common ancestry

Evolution of biodiversity[edit]

Origin and evolutionary history of life[edit]

Evolution of organisms[edit]

Evolution of tetrapods[edit]

Evolution of other animals[edit]

Evolution of plants[edit]

Evolution of other taxa[edit]

Evolution of cells, organs, and systems[edit]

Evolution of molecules and genes[edit]

Evolution of behaviour[edit]

Evolution of other processes[edit]

Applications in other disciplines[edit]

Evolutionary issues[edit]

Controversy about evolution[edit]

Religious and philosophical views of evolution[edit]

Influence of evolutionary theory[edit]

Publications and organizations concerning evolution[edit]




Evolution scholars and researchers[edit]

Prominent evolutionary biologists[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

General information
  • Evolution on In Our Time at the BBC
  • "Evolution". New Scientist. Retrieved May 30, 2011.
  • "Evolution Resources from the National Academies". U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved May 30, 2011.
  • "Understanding Evolution: your one-stop resource for information on Evolution". University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved May 30, 2011.
  • "Evolution of Evolution – 150 Years of Darwin's "On the Origin of Species"". National Science Foundation. Retrieved May 30, 2011.
  • Human Timeline (Interactive)Smithsonian, National Museum of Natural History (August 2016).
Experiments concerning the process of biological evolution
Online lectures