Natural selection causes adaptation, the fit between an organism and its environment. For example, the white and grey colouration of snowy owls living and breeding around the Arctic Circle provides camouflage from both predators and prey. In this Element, the author explores a variety of such outcomes of the evolutionary process, including both adaptations and alternatives to adaptations, such as nonadaptive traits inherited from ancestors. The book also explores how the concept of adaptation is used in evolutionary psychology and in animal behaviour, and the adequacy of methods used to confirm evolutionary accounts of human traits and behaviours.
1. What Are Adaptations?
2. Evolutionary Factors
3. Adaptationism and the Logic of Research Questions
4. Case Studies Showing the Inadequacy of Methodological Adaptationism