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Speciation is an evolutionary process by which a new species comes into being. A species is a group of organisms that can reproduce with one another to produce fertile offspring and is reproductively isolated from other organisms. Speciation can be driven by evolution, which is a process that results in the accumulation of many small genetic changes called mutations in a population over a long period of time. There are a number of different mechanisms that may drive speciation. One of these is natural selection, which is a process that increases the frequency of advantageous gene variants, called alleles, in a population. Natural selection can result in organisms that are more likely to survive and reproduce and may eventually lead to speciation. A second process called genetic drift describes random fluctuations in allele frequencies in populations, which can eventually cause a population of organisms to be genetically distinct from its original population and result in the formation of a new species.

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