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What is disruptive selection?

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Disruptive selection is a type of natural selection that shows a preference toward the reproduction of genetic material at the extremes within a population, explains About.com. Disruptive selection pushes out those in a species with genes from the average of the population by selecting the extremes.

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An example of disruptive selection includes the prevalent reproduction of oysters at the lightest and darkest colors within the species. By changing the normal distribution of genetic material in a population, a new species sometimes forms due to disruptive selection. Disruptive selection occurs naturally and due to external factors, such as environmental changes and human intervention.

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