Difference between Evolution and Adaptation

The two terms are closely related in biology, however, they have some differences. Evolution is a change in the external and genetic characteristics of a population through generations while an adaptation is a physiological process that involves a change in a morphological trait or behavior of an organism in a way that increases its life expectancy.


It is the change in the physical and genetic characteristics of a biological population over generations. This process has given rise to the various forms of life that exist on the planet from a common ancestor. Evolutionary processes are responsible for producing biodiversity in each species, individual and molecule. All life on our planet stems from a common universal ancestor that lived between 3.8 and 3.5 billion years ago.

The evidence of evolution has been compiled by scientists in order to demonstrate that evolution is a typical process of living beings and that they all descend from a common ancestor. This is deduced from some simple characteristics such as sharing similar morphological characteristics, different species as an area becomes more isolated, and the existence of vestigial organs.


They are physiological stages, characteristics and changes in the mode of behavior of an organism that has evolved in order to increase its life expectancy. According to physiologists, adaptation is the changes that occur in an individual in response to environmental changes. For evolutionary biology, adaptation defines the characteristics that increase the survival or reproductive success of an organism.

Types of adaptation:

  • Morphological or structural.
  • physiological or functional.
  • Ethological or behavioral.
  • Adaptation at the molecular level.

Differences Between Evolution and Adaptation

  • Evolution is a process that defines the changes in the physical and genetic characteristics of a population over generations.
  • Adaptations are specific changes in the characteristics of an organism that has already evolved in order to adapt to changes in its environment.

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