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Genetic Diversity
Diversity also refers to the range of characteristics or traits found within a single species. Some traits you can't see, like blood type or resistance to certain diseases. But other traits you can see. For instance, you can find individual human beings who are tall and thin, short and stout, or every other combination you can think of. Their arms may be long or short. Their noses and ears may be big or small. Their hair may be blond, red, brown, or black. Their eyes may be blue, green, brown, or black. Their skin may be white, yellow, brown, or black.

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These traits arise from the genes that parents pass on to their offspring. The appearance of a given trait in an individual depends on the laws of inheritance. Despite the wide range of appearances, all humans are members of the same species. The many different traits found in different individuals simply show that there is great genetic diversity within the human species. Photos 2000-www.arttoday.com

Large populations of a given species living over broad areas of Earth tend to have great genetic diversity. Small populations tend to have limited genetic diversity. A species with few members tends to get weaker from generation to generation because genes for bad traits, like decreased fertility or heart abnormalities, spread easily through small populations. Thus, the survival of a species that has been reduced to a few hundred or a few dozen individuals, like the mountain gorillas in Rwanda and the panthers in Florida, is threatened because of the lack of genetic diversity.

 


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  Species Diversity
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Classification

 

 
             
     
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Diversity | Species Diversity | Genetic Diversity | Classification

Diversity | Adaptation | Plate Tectonics | Cycles | Spheres | Biomes | Geologic Time

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April 28, 2005

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