How would a biologist best measure fitness from the the perspective of evolution?

Question by Behbegurll: How would a biologist best measure fitness from the the perspective of evolution?
A. Fitness is best measured by an organism’s survival ability and number of offspring. Deficiencies in one can be compensated by the other
B. Fitness is best measured by an organism’s speed and strength. These two characteristics are adaptive to most environments.
C. Fitness is best measured by an organism’s ability to find food and escape from predators.
D.Fitness is best measured by the number of offspring. The more offspring an organism has, the more its genes will be represented in the next generation.
E.Fitness is best measured by the ability to survive in the environment. This is the definition of adaptation.

Best answer:

Answer by Medicine
It’s A. Survival under any adverse conditions & contributing to next generation though in small number of off springs – is the epitome of best fitness in evolution.

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2 thoughts on “How would a biologist best measure fitness from the the perspective of evolution?

  • October 9, 2013 at 4:42 pm
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    We have a saying, “fitness is measured in grandchildren.” That’s not a great saying either, but should be generalized to “fitness measured in descendants.”

    That doesn’t match any of these choices, but here’s the one that will most likely be marked correct:
    D.Fitness is best measured by the number of offspring. The more offspring an organism has, the more its genes will be represented in the next generation.

    Why this isn’t great: Consider a stallion (male horse) that prefers jennies (female donkeys) over its own kind. Plenty of children. No grandchildren. Therefore low fitness.

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  • October 9, 2013 at 5:09 pm
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    E. “Fitness” does not refer to whether an individual is “physically fit” – bigger, faster or stronger – or “better” in any subjective sense. It refers to a difference in reproductive rate from one generation to the next.

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