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In biology, the process by which an animal or plant becomes fitted to its environment. It is the result of natural selection acting on inherited variation. Even simple organisms must be adapted in many ways, including structure, physiology, and genetics; movement or dispersal; means of defense and attack; and reproduction and development. To be useful, adaptations must often occur simultaneously in different parts of the body.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on adaptation, visit Britannica.com.