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Allopatric speciation

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A speciation in which biological populations are physically isolated by an extrinsic barrier and evolve intrinsic (genetic) reproductive isolation, such that if the barrier breaks down, individuals of the population can no longer interbreed.


Allopatric speciation is speculated to be the most common way of species formation. A famous example of allopatric speciation is that of Charles Darwin's Galápagos Finches, another one involves the Asian Elephant.

Word origin: ancient Greek allos, other+ Greek patrā, fatherland.
Related forms: allopatry (noun).

Synonym: geographic speciation.
Compare: peripatric speciation, parapatric speciation, sympatric speciation.
See also: Genetic isolation, speciation.

User Contributions / Comments:

  • Two species of squirrels live on either side of the Grand Canyon. They are an example of allopatric speciaction.