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natural selection

The differential survival and/or reproduction of classes of entities that differ in one or more characteristics. To constitute natural selection, the difference in survival and/or reproduction cannot be due to chance, and it must have the potential consequence of altering the proportions of the different entities. Thus, natural selection is also definable as a deterministic difference in the contribution of different classes of entities to subsequent generations. Usually, the differences are inherited. The entities may be alleles, genotypes or subsets of genotypes, populations, or, in the broadest sense, species.
© 2005 by Sinauer Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. Futuyma, D. Evolution.
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