Complex biological structures that have been built up by natural selection (that has used random mutations as the raw material) and therefore currently fill some vital function. They can be divided into two categories, adaptations and exaptations. Adaptation encompasses structures that fulfill the same function from the very beginning and were formed and developed as a consequence of the action of the same selection pressure as is acting on them at the present time. See also exaptations.

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The classical Darwinian theory of evolution can explain the evolution of adaptive traits only in asexual organisms. The frozen plasticity theory is much more general: It can also explain the origin and evolution of adaptive traits in both asexual and sexual organisms Read more