Meiosis is very similar to mitosis, with a few exceptions:
1- Mitosis can occur in all cells that ARE NOT a sex cell (like egg or sperm), whereas meiosis ocurs only in sex cells
2- Meiosis Produces four cells from 1 instead of 2 (like mitosis)
3- Meiosis produces HAPLOID cells instead of DIPLOID cells
4- During PROPHASE I of meiosis, a unique process occurs called crossing over occurs, where homologous chromosomes may exchange portions of their chromatids and produce unique NEW genetic arrangements.
The 4 differences above are WHY the steps of Meiosis ARE IMPORTANT. The process produces sex cells, which are haploid and may also produce NEW UNIQUE genetic combinations. These unique arrangement are one of the mechanisms of evolution.
The stages are
2- Metaphase I
3- Anaphase I
4- Telophase I
5- Prophase II
6- Metaphse II
7- Anaphase II and
8- Telophase II