Difference WikiBiology

Difference Between Microevolution, Macroevolution and Megaevolution

Main Difference

The main difference between Microevolution, Macroevolution, and Megaevolution is that Microevolution is a change that happens at a level below to species; Macroevolution is an evolutionary change that is occurring at or above the species level; whereas, Megaevolution is an evolutionary change that is happening at Class, Phylum or Division level.

Microevolution vs. Macroevolution vs. Megaevolution

Microevolution is a change that happens at a level below to species due to adaptive changes to different environments; where Macroevolution is a developmental change that occurs at or above the species level; on the other hand, Megaevolution is an evolving change that is occurring at Class, Phylum or Division level. Microevolution has its impact at the genome level between different populations of a species, wherein Macroevolution, the evolutionary change occurs at the species level or above it, however, in the case of Megaevolution this evolutionary change has its impacts at a level of biological systems leading to major differences.

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Microevolution results in the creation of subspecies or geographical races between different populations during their adaptations to ecosystems; in Macroevolution, the resultants are New species, genera, families, etc., while discussing the Megaevolution the resultants found are the formation of new biological organization systems over the period.

Microevolution is an evolutionary change that occurs over time in response to the environment between the populations while their adaptations to different environments; Macroevolution is a result of a massive evolutionary change that occurs over time unlike Microevolution that is an over-time taking shorter time than Macroevolution, but contrary to both of them, Megaevolution has occurred only a few times in entire evolutionary history from the beginning of this earth till now.

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Microevolution is driven by natural selection in response to different environments between different species embracing different changes as per the ecosystem they are living in; Macroevolution is driven by micro mutation, genetic divergence and adaptive radiation that produce major changes at the macro level, but contrary to both Micro and Macro environment, in Megaevolution, the actual driving force is still unknown as these changes occur so rare and one time in million years.

Comparison Chart

MicroevolutionMacroevolutionMegaevolution
Evolutionary change at the level below of species.Evolutionary change at a level of species or above.Large scale evolutionary change at a level of Classes, Phylum, or divisions.
Impact
At genome levelAt species levelAt biological system
Resultants
Subspecies or geographical racesNew species, genera, families, etcFormation of a new biological organization system
Occurrence
Over time in response to the environment at a short time scale.Evolutionary change is massively occurring over long time scales.It has occurred only a few times in the entire evolutionary history.
Driving Force
Driving force is a natural selection in response to different environments.It involves micro mutation, genetic divergence, and adaptive radiation.The actual driving force leading to mega evolution is still unknown.
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What is Microevolution?

Microevolution is a change that happens at a level below to species due to adaptive changes to different environments. Microevolution has its impact at the genome level as the gene pool differs, and the changes are physically visual too. These changes occur between different populations of a species, and these alterations in species are also called intraspecies genetic change as genetic information gets altered or rearranged.

Microevolution usually results in the creation of subspecies or geographical races between different populations during their adaptations to ecosystems. Microevolution is an evolutionary change that occurs over shorter time scales in response to the environment between the populations while their adaptations to different environments. Hence, this progression occurs over a short period of scale and can be experimentally proven; that’s why creationists are backing up this sort of evolution.

Microevolution is driven by natural selection in response to different environments between different species embracing different changes as per the ecosystem they are in living. The major example of this type of evolution is a variety of break shapes among the finches on Galapagos island, the resultants of the industrial revolution in England leading to changed colors of peppered moths, the evolution of insect populations for resistance against DDT and evolution of bacteria against antibiotics.

What is Macroevolution?

Macroevolution is an evolutionary change that occurs at or above the species level. As at this stage of evolution, the change surpasses the level of single species, and it does not remain a change of micro-level rather, it becomes a type of evolutionary change that has occurred at the species level or above it making it Macroevolution. The resultants of this type of evolution are new species, genera, families, etc.

These changes are results of a massive evolutionary change that occurs over time, unlike Microevolution, which is an over-time taking a shorter time. Macroevolution is resultant from Microevolutionary variations; the change here is the period that is required for this large scale alteration. There are new additions and deletions in the genetic structure which produce new species or genre.

As there are many barriers in providing experimental proofs along with a barrier of a large scale of time because it takes thousands of years to take place hence more time than the micro-level of evolution, the creationists do not support this type of evolution. Macroevolution is driven by forces like micro-mutation, genetic divergence, and adaptive radiation that produce major changes resulting in macro-level changes. Some of the examples are as to how the birds evolved from dinosaurs and the evolution of tetrapods from fish.

As in the case of Asian and African elephants, these two species cannot mate with each other because of the changes embraced by their reproductive isolation. Macroevolution here describes the difference between these two close and distinct species, which is known as speciation that occurs through various mechanisms.

What is Megaevolution?

Megaevolution is an evolutionary change that is happening at Class, Phylum, or Division level. As, at this stage of evolution, the change surpasses the level of species, phylum, and classes, and it does not remain a change of macro-level rather, it becomes a type of evolutionary change that has occurred at the biological system-level making it Megaevolution. This evolutionary change has its impacts at a level of biological systems leading to major differences.

While discussing the Megaevolution, the resultants found are the formation of new biological organization systems over the period. Megaevolution has occurred only a few times in the entire evolutionary history from the beginning of this earth till now. Like Macroevolution, there are many barriers in providing experimental proofs along with a barrier of a large scale of time because it takes millions of years to take place; that’s why the creationists do not support this type of evolution.

Contrary to both the Micro and Macro environment, the actual driving force is still unknown as these changes occur so rare and one time in million years. Examples for this type of evolution include the origin of plants, animals, and micro-organisms. As the scientists believe, the evolution of prokaryotes in the history to different eukaryotic cells is the base upon which these current kingdoms like Animalia and Plantae are standing. The evolution of amphibians from fishes, birds, and mammals from reptiles are also examples of this type of evolution.

Key Differences

  1. Microevolution occurs at a level below to species because of versatile changes to various or distinct environments, where Macroevolution occurs greater than or equal to the species level; while, Megaevolution is evolutionary modify that is happening at Class, Phylum or Division level.
  2. Microevolution has its impact at the genome level between different populations of a species; Macroevolution impacts at the species level or above it; however, in the case of Megaevolution, its impacts are at a level of biological systems leading to major differences.
  3. Microevolution results in the creation of subspecies or geographical races between different populations; in Macroevolution, the resultants are New species, genera, families, etc.; however, Megaevolution results in the formation of new biological organization systems over the period.
  4. Microevolution occurs over time in response to the environment between the populations; Microevolution is a result of a massive evolutionary change that occurs over time and takes more time than Microevolution as thousands of years pass while this change drives its results, but contrary to these, Megaevolution has occurred only a few times in entire evolutionary history from the beginning of this earth till now.
  5. Microevolution is driven by natural selection in response to different environments between different species embracing different changes as per the ecosystem they are living in; the macro environment in Macroevolution, is driven by micro mutation, genetic divergence, and adaptive radiation, but, the actual driving force in case of Megaevolution is still unknown as these changes occur so rare and one time in million years.

Conclusion

Microevolution is a modification that happens in an amount below species as genome between different populations of a single species; where Macroevolution is an evolutionary change that occurs at or above species level leading to the creation of new species, however, Megaevolution is a very rare evolutionary change that happens at a level of Class, Phylum or Division.

Janet White

Janet White is a writer and blogger for Difference Wiki since 2015. She has a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Apart from work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Connect with her on Twitter @Janet__White

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