Difference Between Adaptation and Evolution

Adaptation vs Evolution

Evolution would have never been taken place if not for the adaptations, which means adaptation has been one of the most important ingredients for evolution to take place. Since the environment is continuously changing, adaptations must have to take place. Therefore, the evolution is said to be a never ending process. These introductory statements indicate that there is a close association between adaptation and evolution, but there are significant differences between the two, as well.


Adaptation is a biological trait that features an importance for one or many organisms in fulfilling the natural demands. An adaptation is resulted through a series of complex ecological processes. Adaptation is also known as the Adaptive trait, which performs a function that is important for the existence on the Earth for a particular organism or a group of organisms. Adaptations are mainly of two types, which are anatomical adaptations and behavioural in simple terms. Anatomical adaptations are mainly important for the individuals while behavioural adaptations are important for the individuals alone as well as for the colonies or populations for a successful existence in the environment.

Lightened bones and feathers in birds are anatomical adaptations for aviation while territoriality in animals is a behavioural adaptation to use the habitat effectively for the successful existence. Adaptations are differences or divergences from the original state to suit a new niche. The process of adaptation takes place in few ways such as habitat changes, genetic shifts, etc. When the environment has been changing, the organisms will have to change accordingly in order to survive, and habitat changes influence adaptations to occur. There are few ways to occur adaptations in organisms, those will be very important to create new species. In general, adaptations drive the process of evolution step by step.


Evolution could be any form of change taking place in order to survive in the changing environment. When it comes to biological evolution, father of evolutionary biology could never be left out. Charles Darwin, in his blockbuster book of Origin of Species, has described that all species are descendants of earlier species with many evidences. Organisms develop adaptations to extract the best out of the environment, but the changing environment demands additional adaptations with the time. This eventually creates a new species with significantly different characteristics from the previous one, and this process is known as the evolution. In other words, evolution is the process of changing the inherited characteristics over successive generations in biological species. The extensive biodiversity on Earth is a result of the evolution.

What is the difference between Adaptation and Evolution?

• Adaptation is a step in the whole process of evolution.

• Adaptation is the first step, and evolution is the end result. Few adaptations in a particular organism would lead to make adequate differences for the formation of a new species, which results in evolution.

• Adaptations could be taking place in a species within a couple of generations, but evolution takes place more than few generations.

• Adaptations are resulted due to the demands of the environment while evolution is resulted due to the adaptations and speciation processes.