Defining Adaptation

The word ‘Adaption’ is one that is used regularly in conversation, many people use the word in a loose term often meaning for something to become the norm. It can be used to describe the addition of anything such as “That machine has a new adaption”. But yet Adaption in terms of science and biology is very different but not so far diverted from the common use of the word. Adaption comes from the word adaptation which is defined by the dictionary as “The process of adapting to something” which is a pretty useless definition. However physiology has much better definition:

“Adaptation is the evolutionary process whereby a population becomes better suited to its habitat.”

This is a much more acceptable term.(Williams 1966)

It is important to understand that adaptation is environment specific, what is a good adaption in one is poor in another. However, just because an adaption is poor for an environment doesn’t mean the owner of that adaption cannot go to the other environment in most cases, it simply means that it would usually be unsuccessful.

But why point this out? When talking about the deep sea there are many animals that are quite capable of going to the deep sea for long periods of time and being quite happy there such as diving cetaceans.  These animals are adapted to travel to the deep sea but not to live there, living in the deep sea is very different from entering it occasionally. It is important to establish that this series of written work is exploring the species that live in and have thusly adapted to the deep sea, not species that have adapted to visit the deep sea without dying.

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