Vocabulary

speciation morphology biological species concept geographic isolation allopatric speciation reproductive isolation prezygotic isolation postzygotic isolation sympatric speciation gradualism punctuated equilibrium figure 16-9

The facial features of red-tailed monkeys, Cercopithecus ascianus, can differ from individual to individual.

figure 16-9

The facial features of red-tailed monkeys, Cercopithecus ascianus, can differ from individual to individual.

Formation of Species

How many species of organisms exist on Earth today? Undiscovered species may be so numerous that we have no accurate answer. For example, even small areas of tropical rain forests can contain thousands of species of plants, animals, and microorganisms. New species are discovered and others become extinct at an increasing rate. In this section, you will learn how one species can become two through a process called speciation.

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