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Disruptive selection

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Disruptive selection is a type of natural selection that simultaneously favors individuals at both extremes of the distribution. When disruptive selection operates, individuals at the extremes contribute more offspring than those in the center, producing two peaks in the distribution of a particular trait.

A hypothetical example of this is where you have a population of rabbits. The colour of the rabbits is governed by two incompletely dominant traits: black fur represented by “B” and white fur represented by “b”. A rabbit with the genotype of “BB” would have a phenotype of black fur, a genotype of “Bb” would have gray fur (a display of both black and white) and a genotype of “bb” would have a phenotype of white fur.

If this population of rabbits were put into an area that had very dark black rocks as well as very white colored stone, the rabbits with black fur would be able to hide from predators amongst the black rocks and the white furred rabbits would be able to hide in the white rocks, but the gray furred rabbits would stand out in both of the habitats and thus would not survive.

If these populations were to be cut off from each other thus not being allowed to inter breed it could lead to Speciation.

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