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186 Cards in this Set

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The science that investigates human biological and cultural variation and evolution.
cultural anthropology
The subfield of anthropology that focuses on variations in cultural behaviors among human populations.
physical anthropology
The scientific study of the physical characteristics, variability, and evolution of the human organism.
Intelligent Design
The idea that the biological world was created by an intelligent entity and did not arise from natural processes. This idea is somewhat different from that proposed by "creation scientists."
An explanation of observed facts. To be scientific, a hypothesis must be testable.
The transformation of species of organic life over long periods of time. Anthropologists study both the cultural and biological evolution of the human species.
That the changes in the earth's crust are due to abrupt and violent events in the earth's geological history
That the changes in the earth's crust are due to continuous and uniform changes over earth's geological history
scientific theory
a theory that explains scientific observations; "scientific theories must be falsifiable"
scientific method
The principles and empirical processes of discovery and demonstration considered characteristic of or necessary for scientific investigation, generally involving the observation of phenomena, the formulation of a hypothesis concerning the phenomena, experimentation to demonstrate the truth or falseness of the hypothesis, and a conclusion that validates or modifies the hypothesis.
Great Chain of Being
a powerful visual metaphor for a divinely inspired universal hierarchy ranking all forms of higher and lower life; humans are represented by the male alone.
Carolus Linnaeus
His prime contribution was to establish conventions for the naming of living organisms that became universally accepted in the scientific world--the work of Linnaeus represents the starting point of binomial nomenclature. In addition Linnaeus developed, during the great 18th century expansion of natural history knowledge, what became known as the Linnaean taxonomy; the system of scientific classification now widely used in the biological sciences.
Charles Darwin
an eminent English naturalist[I] who achieved lasting fame by convincing the scientific community that species develop over time from a common origin. His theories explaining this phenomenon through natural and sexual selection are central to the modern understanding of evolution as the unifying theory of the life sciences, essential in biology and important in other disciplines such as anthropology, psychology and philosophy.[1]
Alfred Russell Wallace
He is best known for independently proposing a theory of natural selection which prompted Charles Darwin to publish his own more developed and researched theory sooner than he had intended. He was also one of the leading evolutionary thinkers of the 19th century who made a number of other contributions to the development of evolutionary theory, including the concept of warning colouration in animals. Wallace was also considered the 19th century’s leading expert on the geographical distribution of animal species and is sometimes called the "father of biogeography".
Jean Baptiste Lemarck
a French naturalist and an early proponent of the idea that evolution occurred and proceeded in accordance with natural laws. Lamarck is however remembered today mainly in connection with his now superseded theory of heredity, the "inheritance of acquired traits" (see Lamarckism). He was also one of the first to use the term biology in its modern sense.
Georges Cuvier
He was a major figure in scientific circles in Paris during the early 19th century, and was instrumental in establishing the fields of comparative anatomy and paleontology by comparing living animals with fossils. He is well known for establishing that extinction was a fact, being the most influential proponent of catastrophism in geology in the early 19th century, and opposing early evolutionary theories. His most famous work is the Règne animal distribué d'après son organisation (1817; translated into English as The Animal Kingdom). He died in Paris of cholera.
James Ussher
While Archbishop of Armagh, Ussher became determined to approximate when the universe was created. He traveled to Britain and Europe in 1640 trying to seek the earliest available manuscripts he could find. He decided to use the Book of Genesis to determine when he thought the universe was created. After counting the “begats” of the Book of Genesis, Ussher came to the conclusion that the universe was created at 9:00 am on the twenty-third of October, 4004 BC. This date was in fact used in some editions of the King James Version of the Bible.

One of James Ussher’s most important writings was the Annals of the World. This book is composed of two volumes. The first volume was written in 1650, the second in 1654. In these books, he stated his theory of when the universe was created and the dates and times of other biblical occurrences based on the that theory.
Charles Lyell
Principles of Geology, Lyell's first book, was also his most famous, most influential, and most important. First published in three volumes in 1830-33, it established Lyell's credentials as an important geological theorist and introduced the doctrine of uniformitarianism. The central argument in Principles was that "the present is the key to the past:" That geological remains from the distant past can, and should, be explained by reference to geological processes now in operation and thus directly observable. Lyell's interpretation of geologic change as the steady accumulation of minute changes over enormously long spans of time was also a central theme in the Principles, and a powerful influence on the young Charles Darwin, who was given Volume 1 of the first edition by Robert FitzRoy, captain of HMS Beagle, just before they set out on the voyage of the Beagle. On their first stop ashore at St Jago Darwin found rock formations which seen "through Lyell's eyes" gave him a revolutionary insight into the geological history of the island, an insight he applied throughout his travels. While in South America Darwin received Volume 2 which firmly rejected the idea of organic evolution, proposing "Centres of Creation" to explain diversity and territory of species. Darwin's ideas gradually moved beyond this, but in geology he was very much Lyell's disciple and sent home extensive evidence and theorising supporting Lyell's uniformitarianism, including Darwin's ideas about the formation of atolls. On his return they became close friends. Lyell continued to firmly reject the idea of organic evolution in each of the first nine editions of the Principles. Confronted with Darwin's On The Origin of Species, he finally offered a tepid endorsement of evolution in the tenth edition.
Thomas Malthus
Malthus' views were largely developed in reaction to the optimistic views of his father and his associates, notably Rousseau. Malthus's essay was also in response to the views of the Marquis de Condorcet. In An Essay on the Principle of Population, first published in 1798, Malthus made the famous prediction that population would outrun food supply, leading to a decrease in food per person. (Case & Fair, 1999: 790). He even went so far as to specifically predict that this must occur by the middle of the 19th century, a prediction which failed for several reasons, including his use of static analysis, taking recent trends and projecting them indefinitely into the future, which often fails for complex systems.
Theory of acquired characteristics
the hereditary mechanism by which changes in physiology acquired over the life of an organism (such as muscle enlarged through use) are purportedly transmitted to offspring. It is also commonly referred to as the theory of adaptation equated with the evolutionary theory of French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck.
Theory of Natural Selection
the process by which favorable traits that are heritable propagate throughout a reproductive population: individual organisms with favorable traits are more likely to survive and reproduce than those with unfavorable traits. If these traits have a genetic basis, then the genotypes associated with the favored traits will increase in frequency in the next generation. Given enough time, this passive process results in adaptations and speciation.
Natural theology
the attempt to find evidence of a God or intelligent designer without recourse to any special or supposedly supernatural revelation. The expression 'natural theology' (theologia naturalis) seems to have been first used by Augustine of Hippo with reference to the deepest theological insights of the classical philosophers. Natural theology (or natural religion) is theology based on reason and ordinary experience. Thus it is distinguished from revealed theology (or revealed religion) which is based on scripture and religious experiences of various kinds; and also from transcendental theology, theology from a priori reasoning (see Immanuel Kant et alia).
a central concept in evolutionary theory. It describes the capability of an individual of certain genotype to reproduce, and usually is equal to the proportion of the individual's genes in all the genes of the next generation. If differences in individual genotypes affect fitness, then the frequencies of the genotypes will change over generations; the genotypes with higher fitness become more common. This process is called natural selection.
a membrane-enclosed organelle, found in most eukaryotic cells.[1] Mitochondria are sometimes described as "cellular power plants," because they convert food molecules into energy in the form of ATP via the process of oxidative phosphorylation. A typical eukaryotic cell contains about 2,000 mitochondria, which occupy roughly one fifth of its total volume.[2] Mitochondria contain DNA that is independent of the DNA located in the cell nucleus. According to the endosymbiotic theory, mitochondria are descended from free-living prokaryotes.
homologous chromosomes
chromosomes in a biological cell that pair (synapse) during meiosis, or alternatively, non-identical chromosomes that contain information for the same biological features and contain the same genes at the same loci but possibly different genetic information, called alleles, at those genes. For example, two chromosomes may have genes encoding eye color, but one may code for brown eyes, the other for blue.
regulatory genes
Gene that codes for the regulation of biological processes such as growth and development.
The alternative form of a gene or DNA sequence that occurs at a given locus. Some loci have only one allele, some have two, and some have many alternative forms. Alleles occur in pairs, one on each chromosome.
A DNA sequence that codes for a functional polypeptide or RNA product.
The genetic code is the set of rules by which information encoded in genetic material (DNA or RNA sequences) is translated into proteins (amino acid sequences) by living cells. Specifically, the code defines a mapping between tri-nucleotide sequences called codons and amino acids; every triplet of nucleotides in a nucleic acid sequence specifies a single amino acid. Most organisms use a nearly universal code that is referred to as the standard genetic code. Even viruses, which are not cellular and do not synthesize proteins themselves, have proteins made using this standard code. For a time, therefore, the code was thought to be universal among cells. However, there are notable exceptions. It is also possible for a single organism to translate different parts of the genome in different ways. For example, in humans, protein synthesis in mitochondria relies on a modified genetic code that varies from the standard one.
any chromosome other than a sex chromosome. Human somatic cells have 22 pairs of autosomes and 1 pair of sex chromosomes.
sex chromosome
the X and Y chromosomes which are responsible for determining whether an individual is a male or a female. Normal males inherit an X from their mother and a Y from their father. Normal females get an X chromosome from both parents.
prokaryotic cell
a cell that lacks a true nucleus and divides by simple fission rather than mitosis. Bacteria and blue-green algae are prokaryotes. See eukaryotic cell.
eukaryotic cell
a cell that has a true nucleus and that divides by mitosis. Complex single celled creatures such as protozoa as well as all multicelled plants and animals are primarily eukaryotes. With the exception of red blood cells, human cells are eukaryotic. See prokaryotic cell.
somatic cells
all the cells in the body except those directly involved with reproduction. Most cells in multicellular plants and animals are somatic cells. They reproduce by mitosis and have a diploid number of chromosomes. See sex cell.
gametic cells
a reproductive cell--sperm or unfertilized ovum cell produced in the testes and ovaries of animals. Gametes are produced by meiosis. They normally have half the number of chromosomes found in somatic cells.
The production of new combinations of DNA sequences caused by exchanges of DNA during meiosis.
Both alleles at a given locus are identical.
The two alleles at a given locus are different.
Sex-linked disease
Sex-linked diseases are inherited through one of the "sex chromosomes" -- the X or Y chromosomes. Autosomally inherited diseases are inherited through the non-sex chromosomes (autosomes), pairs 1 through 22.

Dominant inheritance occurs when an abnormal gene from one parent is capable of causing disease even though the matching gene from the other parent is normal. The abnormal gene dominates the outcome of the gene pair.

Recessive inheritance occurs when both matching genes must be abnormal to produce disease. If only one gene in the pair is abnormal, the disease is not manifest or is only mildly manifest. Someone who has one abnormal gene (but no symptoms) is called a carrier. A carrier can pass this abnormal gene onto his or her children.

In general, the term "sex-linked recessive" usually refers to the more specific case of X-linked recessive.
The observable appearance of a given genotype in the organism. The phenotype is determined by the relationship of the two alleles at a given locus, the number of loci, and often environmental influences as well.
The genetic endowment of an individual from the two alleles present at a given locus.
any of a large number of organic molecules that are composed of one or more chains of amino acids. These chains are twisted and folded back on themselves in complex patterns. Proteins can serve a wide variety of functions through their ability to bind to other molecules. Proteins may be transporting molecules in blood, structural components, enzymes, hormones, antibodies, or neurotransmitters.
amino acid
an organic molecule that is a building blocks of proteins. There are at least 20 different kinds of amino acids in living things. Proteins are composed of different combinations of amino acids assembled in chain-like molecules. Amino acids are primarily composed of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen.
an allele that masks the presence of a recessive allele in the phenotype. Dominant alleles for a trait are usually expressed if an individual is homozygous dominant or heterozygous.
an allele that is masked in the phenotype by the presence of a dominant allele. Recessive alleles are expressed in the phenotype when the genotype is homozygous recessive (aa).
Both alleles affect the phenotype of a heterozygous genotype, and neither is dominant over the other.
A substance invading the body that stimulates the production of antibodies.
reproductive success
Uhhh having sex I'm guessing with a baby as a result
Somatic cell
all the cells in the body except those directly involved with reproduction. Most cells in multicellular plants and animals are somatic cells. They reproduce by mitosis and have a diploid number of chromosomes.
gametic cell
a reproductive cell--sperm or unfertilized ovum cell produced in the testes and ovaries of animals. Gametes are produced by meiosis. They normally have half the number of chromosomes found in somatic cells.
a comparatively large structure found in all eukaryotic cells. It contains the chromosomes (nuclear DNA) and is enclosed by a nuclear membrane.
A fertilized egg.
(Deoxyribonucleic acid) The molecule that provides the genetic code for biological structures and the means to translate this code.
a more or less distinct group of individuals within a species who are reproductively isolated from other groups. In other words, they restrict their mate selection to members of their own population. This is usually due to geographic and/or social barriers to mating with outsiders. Members of a completely isolated small population tend to have similar genetic characteristics due to generations of inbreeding.
New Synthesis (Neo-Darwinian synthesis)
generally denotes the integration of Charles Darwin's theory of the evolution of species by natural selection, Gregor Mendel's theory of genetics as the basis for biological inheritance, random genetic mutation as the source of variation, and mathematical population genetics. Major figures in the development of the modern synthesis include Thomas Hunt Morgan, R. A. Fisher, Theodosius Dobzhansky, J.B.S. Haldane, Sewall Wright, Julian Huxley, Ernst Mayr, Bernhard Rensch, George Gaylord Simpson, and G. Ledyard Stebbins.

Essentially, the modern synthesis introduced the connection between two important discoveries; the units of evolution (genes) with the mechanism of evolution (selection). It also represents a unification of several branches of biology that previously had little in common, particularly genetics, cytology, systematics, botany, and paleontology.
DNA bases
Nucleobases are the parts of RNA and DNA that may be involved in pairing up (see also base pairs). These include cytosine, guanine, adenine, thymine (DNA), uracil (RNA)
A mechanism for evolutionary change resulting from a random change in the genetic code; the ultimate source of all genetic variation. Mutations must occur in sex cells to cause evolutionary change.
the genetically inherited condition in which there is a marked deficiency of pigmentation in skin, hair, and eyes. An individual with these traits is an "albino." Since the gene for albinism is recessive, it only shows up in the phenotype of homozygous recessive people. Albinos have sunlight sensitive eyes and skin. They are also more likely to develop skin and eye cancers. This is a pleiotropic trait.
Turner’s syndrome
Turner syndrome encompasses several chromosomal abnormalities, of which monosomy X is the most common. It occurs in 1 out of every 2500 female births[1]. Instead of the normal XX sex chromosomes for a female, only one X chromosome is present and fully functional. This is called 45,X or 45,X0, although other genetic variants occur. In Turner syndrome, female sexual characteristics are present but generally underdeveloped.
Kleinfelter’s syndrome
a genetically inherited sex chromosome abnormality only affecting males. Genotypically, they are XXY or more rarely XXXY, or XXXXY. They have asexual to feminine body contours as well as breast enlargement and relatively little body hair. They are sterile or nearly so and their penis, testes, and prostate gland are small. Like metafemales, most Klinefelter syndrome men are an inch or so above average height. They usually have slight learning difficulties, especially with language. However, most are sufficiently ordinary in appearance and mental ability to live in society without notice. The frequency of Klinefelter syndrome has been reported to be between 1 in 500 and 1 in 1,000 male births. Males with Down syndrome sometimes also inherit Klinefelter syndrome.
protein synthesis
Creation of proteins
Transcription is the process through which a DNA sequence is enzymatically copied by an RNA polymerase to produce a complementary RNA. Or, in other words, the transfer of genetic information from DNA into RNA.
Translation is the second process of protein biosynthesis (part of the overall process of gene expression).Translation occurs in the cytoplasm where the ribosomes are located. Ribosomes are made of a small and large subunit which surrounds the mRNA. In translation, messenger RNA (mRNA) is decoded to produce a specific polypeptide according to the rules specified by the genetic code. This is the process that converts an mRNA sequence into a chain of amino acids that form a protein. Translation is necessarily preceded by transcription. Translation proceeds in four phases: activation, initiation, elongation and termination (all describing the growth of the amino acid chain, or polypeptide that is the product of translation).

In activation, the correct amino acid (AA) is joined to the correct transfer RNA (tRNA). While this is not technically a step in translation, it is required for translation to proceed. The AA is joined by its carboxyl group to the 3' OH of the tRNA by an ester bond. When the tRNA has an amino acid linked to it, it is termed "charged". Initiation involves the small subunit of the ribosome binding to 5' end of mRNA with the help of initiation factors (IF), other proteins that assist the process. Elongation occurs when the next aminoacyl-tRNA (charged tRNA) in line binds to the ribosome along with GTP and an elongation factor. Termination of the polypeptide happens when the A site of the ribosome faces a stop (nonsense) codon (UAA, UAG, or UGA). When this happens, no tRNA can recognize it, but releasing factor can recognize nonsense codons and causes the release of the polypeptide chain. The capacity of disabling or inhibiting translation in protein biosynthesis is used by antibiotics such as: anisomycin, cycloheximide, chloramphenicol and tetracycline.
small structures usually near the surface of endoplasmic reticula in the cytoplasm of cells. Ribosomes are the sites where proteins are assembled. Each ribosome is composed of 3 RNA strands and 54 proteins woven into 2 separate, but entangled lumps.
The creation of sex cells by replication of chromosomes followed by cell division. Each sex cell contains 50 percent of an individual’s chromosomes (one from each pair).
The process of replication of chromosomes in body cells. Each cell produces two identical copies.
crossing over
The exchange of DNA between chromosomes during meiosis.
DNA replication
DNA replication or DNA synthesis is the process of copying a double-stranded DNA molecule. This process is paramount to all life as we know it and the general mechanisms of DNA replication is conserved among prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. DNA replication involves copying the genetic material and passing it on to daughter cells, therefore the process is important in continuation of life.
The molecule that functions to carry out the instructions for protein synthesis specified by the DNA molecule.
A free-floating molecule that is attracted to a strand of messenger RNA, resulting in the synthesis of a protein chain.
The form of RNA that transports the genetic instructions from the DNA molecule to the site of protein synthesis.
Ribosomal RNA is a component of the ribosomes, the protein synthetic factories in the cell. Eukaryotic ribosomes contain four different rRNA molecules: 18S, 5.8S, 28S, and 5S rRNA. Three of the rRNA molecules are synthesized in the nucleolus, and one is synthesized elsewhere. rRNA molecules are extremely abundant and make up at least 80% of the RNA molecules found in a typical eukaryotic cell.

In the cytoplasm, ribsomal RNA and protein combine to form a nucleoprotein called a ribosome. The ribosome binds mRNA and carries out protein synthesis. Several ribosomes may be attached to a single mRNA at any time.
Gene pool
the sum of all of the alleles of genes in all of the individuals in a population.
Short-term evolutionary change. The study of microevolution focuses on changes in allele frequencies from one generation to the next.
Long-term evolutionary change. The study of macroevolution focuses on biological evolution over many generations and on the origin of higher taxonomic categories, such as species.
Hardy Weinberg Equilibrium
The law according to which relative gene frequencies in a population remain stable from generation to generation provided that mating occurs randomly and there is no selection (1), migration, or mutation. If the relative frequency of one allele at a particular gene locus is p and that of another is q, then it is easy to prove that the population will contain p2 homozygotes with two p genes, q2 homozygotes with two q genes, and 2pq heterozygotes with one p and one q gene. See also balanced polymorphism, population genetics.
Mating between biologically related individuals.
recurrent mutation
Many mutations
Downs syndrome
a genetically inherited form of mental retardation usually resulting from the inheritance of an extra autosome 21. Down syndrome individuals also typically are short and stocky in build with short appendages. They usually have broad round faces, saddle-shaped nose profiles, and thick tongues that are often stuck out of their mouths. The incidence of Down syndrome children goes up rapidly with the age of the mother, particularly after 40.
Tay Sachs
a genetically inherited conditions caused by the inability to produce the enzyme hexosaminidase A. This results in progressively increased fluid pressure on the brain and the subsequent degeneration of the brain and nervous system beginning about 6 months of age and inevitably resulting in death usually by age 2-3. The gene responsible for Tay-Sachs Disease is recessive. It has been most common among the descendents of Eastern European Jews (Ashkenazi Jews).
Cystic fibrosis
a genetically inherited disease in children that results in chronic fluid development in the lungs, making breathing difficult. This disease also prevents normal absorption of fats and other nutrients from food. Cystic fibrosis occurs as a result of inheriting a recessive allele for if from both parents. This is ultimately a fatal disease, but with modern medical care, about 2/3 of the people with it survive into early adulthood. About 30,000 people have cystic fibrosis in the U.S. today.
Universal recipient
A person who has group AB blood and is therefore able to receive blood from any other group in the ABO system
Universal donor
A person who has group O blood and is therefore able to serve as a donor to a person of any other blood group in the ABO system.
James Watson and Francis Crick
the duo of James D. Watson and Francis Crick, who, with the work of Rosalind Franklin, discovered the structure of the DNA molecule in 1953 and for this discovery were awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize award, along with Maurice Wilkins.
Gregor Mendel
his study of the inheritance of traits in pea plants. Mendel showed that the inheritance of traits follows particular laws, which were later named after him. The significance of Mendel's work was not recognized until the turn of the 20th century. Its rediscovery prompted the foundation of genetics.
simple Mendelian traits
In biology, a trait or character is a feature of an organism. The term phenotype is sometimes used as a synonym for trait in common use, but strictly speaking, does not indicate the trait, but the state of that trait (e.g., the trait eye color has the phenotypes blue, brown and hazel).
A complex genetic trait affected by two or more loci.
A single allele that has multiple effects on an organism.
Principle of Segregation
Gregor Mendel's first principle of genetic inheritance. It states that, for any particular trait, the pair of genes of each parent separate (during the formation of sex cells) and only one gene from each parent passes on to an offspring. In other words, genes occur in pairs (because chromosomes occur in pairs). During gamete production, the members of each gene pair separate, so that each gamete contains one member of each pair. During fertilization, the full number of chromosomes is restored, and members of gene pairs are reunited.
Principle of Independent Assortment
Gregor Mendel's second principle of genetic inheritance. It states that different pairs of genes are passed to offspring independently so that new combinations of genes, present in neither parent, are possible. In other words, the distribution of one pair of alleles does not influence the distribution of another pair. The genes controlling different traits are inherited independently of one another.
Methemoglobinemia, also known as "met-Hb", is a blood disorder characterized by the presence of a higher than normal level of methemoglobin in the blood.
achondroplastic dwarfism
Achondroplasia is a type of genetic disorder that is a common cause of dwarfism. People with this condition have short stature, usually reaching a full adult height of around 4'0" (1.2 metres).
sickle cell anemia
A genetic disease that occurs in a person homozygous for the sickle cell allele, which alters the structure of red blood cells.
gene flow
A mechanism for evolutionary change resulting from the movement of genes from one population to another. Gene flow introduces new genes into a population and also acts to make populations more similar genetically to one another.
genetic drift
A mechanism for evolutionary change resulting from the random fluctuations of gene frequencies from one generation to the next, or from any form of random sampling of a larger gene pool.
natural selection
A mechanism for evolutionary change favoring the survival and reproduction of some organisms over others because of their biological characteristics.
A long strand of DNA sequences.
Rhesus blood group
The term Rhesus blood group system refers to the five main Rhesus antigens (C, c, D, E and e) as well as the many other less frequent Rhesus antigens. The terms Rhesus factor and Rh factor are equivalent and refer to the Rh D antigen only.
A primate (L. prima, first) is any member of the biological order Primates, the group that contains all the species commonly related to the lemurs, monkeys, and apes, with the latter category including humans.[1] The English singular primate is a back-formation from the Latin name Primates, which itself was the plural of the Latin primas ("one of the first, excellent, noble"). Primates are found all over the world. Non-human primates occur mostly in Central and South America, Africa, and southern Asia. A few species exist as far north in the Americas as southern Mexico, and as far north in Asia as northern Japan.

The Primates order is divided informally into three main groupings: prosimians, monkeys of the New World, and monkeys and apes of the Old World. The prosimians are species whose bodies most closely resemble that of the early proto-primates. The most well known of the prosimians, the lemurs, are located on the island of Madagascar and to a lesser extent on the Comoros Islands, isolated from the rest of the world. The New World monkeys include the familiar capuchin, howler, and squirrel monkeys. They live exclusively in the Americas. Discounting humans, the rest of the simians, the Old World monkeys and the apes, inhabit Africa and southern and central Asia, although fossil evidence shows many species existed in Europe as well.
The mammals are the class of vertebrate animals characterized by the production of milk in females for the nourishment of young, from mammary glands present on most species and specialized skin glands in monotremes that seep or ooze milk; the presence of hair or fur; specialized teeth; three small bones within the ear; the presence of a neocortex region in the brain; and endothermic or "warm-blooded" bodies, and, in most cases, the existence of a placenta in the ontogeny. The brain regulates endothermic and circulatory systems, including a four-chambered heart. Mammals encompass some 5,500 species (including humans), distributed in about 1,200 genera, 152 families and up to forty-six orders, though this varies with the classification scheme.
primitive characteristics
traits that have not changed over time; original traits
shared derived characteristics
the evolution of trait, its change over time to a different form even if it had a shared ancestor.
prehensile tail
a tail that is capable of grasping
a moist, hairless pad of skin at the end of a nose. This is a characteristic of prosimians (except for tarsiers), dogs, and some other animals.
An omnivore (from Latin: omne all, everything; vorare to devour) is a species of animal that is physiologically adapted for eating and digesting both plant and animal matter.
A frugivore is an animal that feeds primarily or less commonly exclusively on fruit. This method of feeding can be more efficient than consuming the stem, roots, or other vegetative portions of a plant, due to higher concentrations of sugars, vitamins or proteins that many plants put into fruit.
a folivore is an animal that specializes in eating leaves.
Active during the day.
A time during the month when females are sexually receptive (also known as “heat”). Among primates, human and orangutan females lack an estrus period.
An exclusive sexual bond between an adult male and an adult female for a long period of time.
In humans, a form of marriage in which a husband has several wives. In more general terms, it refers to an adult male having several mates.
In humans, a form of marriage in which a wife has several husbands. In more general terms, it refers to an adult female having several mates.
solitary (Noyau)
The smallest primate social group, consisting of the mother and her dependent offspring.
sexual dimorphism
The average difference in body size between adult males and adult females. Primate species with sexual dimorphism in body size are characterized by adult males being, on average, larger than adult females.
the phylum of animals that is characterized by elongated bilaterally symmetrical bodies. In some phase of their life cycle, they have a notochord and gill slits or pouches. Chordates also often have a head, a tail, and a digestive system with an opening at both ends of the body. The Chordata include fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, and 2 invertebrate subphyla (tunicates and lancelets).
are a major group of organisms, classified as the kingdom Animalia or Metazoa. In general they are multi­cellular, capable of locomotion at some stage in their life cycle, responsive to their environment, and feed by consuming other organisms or parts of them. Their body plan becomes fixed as they develop, usually early on in their development as embryos, although some undergo a process of metamorphosis later on.
post orbital bar/closure
Complete postorbital bars, bony arches that encompass the lateral aspect of the eye and form part of a circular orbit, have evolved homoplastically multiple times during mammalian evolution. Numerous functional hypotheses have been advanced for postorbital bars, the most promising being that postorbital bars function to stiffen the lateral orbit in taxa that have significant angular deviation between the temporal fossa and the bony orbit. Without a stiff lateral orbit the anterior temporalis muscle and fascia potentially would pull on the postorbital ligament, deform the orbit, and cause disruption of oculomotor precision. Morphometric data were collected on 1,329 specimens of 324 taxa from 16 orders of extant eutherian and metatherian mammals in order to test whether the orientation of the orbit relative to the temporal fossa is correlated with the replacement of the postorbital ligament with bone. The allometric and ecological influences on orbit orientation across mammals are also explored. The morphometric results corroborate the hypothesis: Shifts in orbit orientation relative to the temporal fossa are correlated with the size of the postorbital processes, which replace the ligament. The allometric and ecological factors that influence orbit orientation vary across taxa. Postorbital bars stiffen the lateral orbital wall. Muscle pulleys, ligaments, and other connective tissue attach to the lateral orbital wall, including the postorbital bar. Without a stiff lateral orbit, deformation due to temporalis contraction would displace soft tissues contributing to normal oculomotor function. 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
r selected
In unstable or unpredictable environments r-selection predominates, as the ability to reproduce quickly is crucial, and there is little advantage in adaptations that permit successful competition with other organisms (since the environment is likely to change again). Traits that are thought to be characteristic of r-selection include: high fecundity; small size; short generation time; and the ability to disperse offspring widely. Organisms whose life history is subject to r-selection are often referred to as "r-strategists" or "r-selected". Organisms with r-selected traits range from bacteria and diatoms, through insects and weeds, to various semelparous cephalopods and mammals, especially small rodents.
K selected
In stable or predictable environments K-selection predominates, as the ability to compete successfully for limited resources is crucial, and populations of K-selected organisms are typically very constant and close to the maximum that the environment can bear. Traits that are thought to be characteristic of K-selection include: large size; long life span; and the production of fewer offspring that are well cared for. Organisms whose life history is subject to K-selection are often referred to as "K-strategists" or "K-selected". Organisms with K-selected traits include large organisms such as elephants, humans, great apes, hippopotamuses, and whales.
kin selection
A concept used in sociobiological explanations of altruism. Sacrificial behaviors, for example, can be selected for if they increase the probability of survival of close relatives.
Reciprocal altruism
reciprocal altruism is a form of altruism in which one organism provides a benefit to another in the expectation of future reciprocation. This is similar to the tit for tat strategy in game theory. It would only be expected to evolve in the presence of a mechanism to identify and punish "cheaters". A potential example of reciprocal altruism is blood-sharing in the vampire bat, in which bats feed regurgitated blood to those who have not collected much blood themselves knowing that they themselves may someday benefit from this same donation; cheaters are remembered by the colony and ousted from this collaboration.
The killing of infants.
Homeostasis (endothermic, ectothermic)
In a physiologic sense, the maintenance of normal limits of body functioning.
Ecto:the ability to maintain core body temperature in a normal range mainly by avoiding exposure to environmental temperature extremes. Reptiles, amphibians, fish, and insects are ectothermic animals. Ectothermy is also referred to as being cold blooded.
Endo:the ability to maintain a relatively constant core body temperature regardless of external conditions by using internal physiological means. That is to say, they are homeothermic, or stable in core body temperature, as a result of endothermy. Birds and mammals are endothermic. Endothermy is also referred to as being warm blooded.
Vasodilation:The opening of the blood vessels, which increases blood flow and heat loss.

Vasoconsriction: The narrowing of blood vessels, which reduces blood flow and heat loss.
Short-term physiologic responses to a stress, usually occurring within minutes or hours.
Long-term physiologic responses to a stress, usually taking from days to months.
Developmental acclimatization
Changes in organ or body structure that occur during the physical growth of any organism.
Bergmann's Rule
States that (1) among mammals of similar shape, the larger mammal loses heat less rapidly than the smaller mammal, and that (2) among mammals of similar size, the mammal with a linear shape will lose heat more rapidly than the mammal with a nonlinear shape.
Allen's rule
States that mammals in cold climates tend to have shorter and bulkier limbs, allowing less loss of body heat, whereas mammals in hot climates tend to have long, slender limbs, allowing greater loss of body heat.
Oxygen starvation, which occurs frequently at high altitudes.
Poor nutrition, either from two much or too little food, or the improper balance of nutrients.
CCR5 gene
HIV uses CCR5 as a co-receptor to enter its target cells. Several chemokine receptors can function as viral coreceptors, but CCR5 is likely the most physiologically important coreceptor during natural infection. The normal ligands for this receptor, RANTES, MIP-1βand MIP-1α, are able to suppress HIV-1 infection in vitro. In individuals infected with HIV, CCR5-using viruses are the predominant species isolated during the early stages of viral infection, suggesting that these viruses may have a selective advantage during transmission or the acute phase of disease. Moreover, at least half of all infected individuals harbor only CCR5-using viruses throughout the course of infection.

A number of new HIV drugs have been designed to interfere with the interaction between CCR5 and HIV, including PRO140 (Progenics), Vicriviroc (Schering Plough) and UK-427,857 or Maraviroc (Pfizer). A potential problem of this approach is that, while CCR5 is the major co-receptor by which HIV infects cells, it is not the only such co-receptor. It is possible that under selective pressure HIV will evolve to use another co-receptor. However, examination of viral resistance to AD101, molecular antagonist of CCR5, indicated that resistant viruses did not switch to another coreceptor (CXCR4) but persisted in using CCR5, either through binding to alternative domains of CCR5 or by binding to the receptor at a higher affinity.
Punctuate equilbrium
A model of macroevolutionary change in which long periods of little evolutionary change (stasis) are followed by relatively short periods of rapid evolutionary change.
the development of a similar anatomical feature in distinct species lines after divergence from a common ancestor that did not have the initial trait that led to it. The common ancestor is usually more distant in time than is the case with parallelism. Convergence is thought to be due primarily to the independent species lines experiencing the same kinds of natural selection pressures. Convergence is also referred to as convergent evolution.
a similar evolutionary development in different species lines after divergence from a common ancestor that had the initial anatomical feature that led to it. Parallelism is thought to be due primarily to the independent species lines experiencing the same kinds of natural selection pressures. Parallelism is also referred to as parallel evolution. Parallelism results in homoplasies. See convergence.
Evolution of skin color
can range from very dark to nearly colorless (appearing pinkish white due to the blood in the skin) in different people. Skin tone is determined by the amount and type of the pigment melanin in the skin. On average, women have slightly lighter skin than men.

In general, people with ancestors from sunny regions have darker skin than people with ancestors from regions with less sunlight. However, this is complicated by the fact that there are people with ancestors from both sunny and less sunny regions, and whose skin coloring may have any shade of the spectrum of possible tones. Sexual selection also plays a role
blood groups
A blood type (also called a blood group) is an classification of blood based on the presence or absence of inherited antigenic substances on the surface of red blood cells (RBCs). These antigens may be protiens, carbohydrates, glycoproteins or glycolipids, depending on the blood group system, and some of these antigens are also present on the surface of other types of cells of various tissues. Several of these red blood cell surface antigens, that stem from one allele (or very closely linked genes), collectively form a blood group system.
Reproductive isolation
The genetic isolation of populations that may render them incapable of producing fertile offspring.
Duffy blood group
The Duffy antigen is a pair of proteins which appears on the outside of red blood cells.

A person who has "Duffy negative" blood (no Duffy antigen naturally present) may be allergic, perhaps seriously allergic, to a blood transfusion which is "Duffy positive" (has this pair of proteins). Nearly all Caucasians are Duffy-positive, and a majority of those of African descent are Duffy-negative.[1] Since most Duffy-negative people are of African origin, this is one reason why encouraging blood donations from people of African origins is critically important to the health of other people of the same race.
ABO blood group
Individuals with Type A blood can accept blood from donors of type A and type O blood. Individuals with type B blood can receive blood from donors of type B and type O blood. Individuals with type AB blood may receive blood from donors of type A, type B, type AB, or type O blood. Type AB blood is referred to as the universal recipient. Individuals of type O blood may receive blood from donors of type O blood. Type O blood is called the universal donor.
A discrete genetic trait in which there are at least two alleles at a locus having frequencies greater than 0.01.
balanced polymorphism
the maintenance of two or more alleles for a trait in a population at a more or less constant frequency ratio due to the selective advantage of heterozygotes. See polymorphism.
directional selection
Selection against one extreme in a continuous trait and/or selection for the other extreme.
stabilizing selection
Selection against extreme values, large or small, in a continuous trait.
disruptive selection
Selection for both extremes of a trait and against the middle. In the case of polygenic traits that are expressed as a continuum of phenotypes, such as human stature, it would be selection for both very tall and very short people and against those who are average in height. The result would be a progressive increase in both of the extreme forms of this trait and a reduction in the middle range. In the case of a trait controlled by only two alleles, it would be selection for both recesssive and dominant homozygotes and against heterozygotes. The result would be a progressive reduction in the number of people who are heterozygous for the trait in the population.
A group of populations sharing certain biological traits that make them distinct from other groups of populations. In practice, the concept of race is very difficult to apply to patterns of human variation.
Johann Blumenbach
On the basis of his craniometrical research (analysis of human skulls), Blumenbach divided the human species into five races: the Caucasian race or white race; the Mongolian or yellow race; the Malayan or brown race; the Negro, Ethiopian, or black race; and the American or red race.
Samuel Morton

"The Caucasian Race is characterized by a naturally fair skin, susceptible of every tint; hair fine, long and curling, and of various colors. The skull is large and oval, and its anterior portion full and elevated. The face is small in proportion to the head, of an oval form, with well-proportioned features. . . . This race is distinguished for the facility with which it attains the highest intellectual endowments. . . . The spontaneous fertility of [the Caucasus] has rendered it the hive of many nations, which extending their migrations in every direc-tion, have peopled the finest portions of the earth, and given birth to its fairest inhabitants. . . ."

[edit] Asians

"This great division of the human species is characterized by a sallow or olive colored skin, which appears to be drawn tight over the bones of the face; long black straight hair, and thin beard. The nose is broad, and short; the eyes are small, black, and obliquely placed, and the eyebrows are arched and linear; the lips are turned, the cheek bones broad and flat. . . . In their intellectual character the Mongolians are ingenious, imitative, and highly susceptible of cultivation [i.e. learning]....So versatile are their feelings and actions, that they have been compared to the monkey race, whose attention is perpetually changing from one object to another...."

[edit] Native Americans

"The American Race is marked by a brown complexion; long, black, lank hair; and deficient beard. The eyes are black and deep set, the brow low, the cheekbones high, the nose large and aquiline, the mouth large, and the lips tumid [swollen] and compressed. . . . In their mental character the Americans are averse to cultivation, and slow in acquiring knowledge; restless, revengeful, and fond of war, and wholly destitute of maritime adventure. They are crafty, sensual, ungrateful, obstinate and unfeeling, and much of their affection for their children may be traced to purely selfish motives. They devour the most disgusting [foods] uncooked and uncleaned, and seem to have no idea beyond providing for the present moment. . . . Their mental faculties, from infancy to old age, present a continued childhood. . . . [Indians] are not only averse to the restraints of education, but for the most part are incapable of a continued process of reasoning on abstract subjects. . . ."

[edit] Africans

"Characterized by a black complexion, and black, woolly hair; the eyes are large and prominent, the nose broad and flat, the lips thick, and the mouth wide; the head is long and narrow, the forehead low, the cheekbones prominent, the jaws protruding, and the chin small. In disposition the Negro is joyous, flexible, and indolent; while the many nations which compose this race present a singular diversity of intellectual character, of which the far extreme is the lowest grade of humanity. . . . The moral and intellectual character of the Africans is widely different in different nations. . . . The Negroes are proverbially fond of their amusements, in which they engage with great exuberance of spirit; and a day of toil is with them no bar to a night of revelry. Like most other barbarous nations their institutions are not infrequently characterized by superstition and cruelty. They appear to be fond of warlike enterprises, and are not deficient in personal courage; but, once overcome, they yield to their destiny, and accommodate themselves with amazing facility to every change of circumstance. The Negroes have little invention, but strong powers of imitation, so that they readily acquire mechanic arts. They have a great talent for music, and all their external senses are remarkably acute."

Ernest Hooton
Like many others of his time, he used comparative anatomy to divide humanity up into races — in Hooton's case, this involved describing the morphological characteristics of different 'primary races' and the various 'subtypes'.
Carlton Coon
Carleton Coon hypothesized that different racial types fought for domination and annihilation of other racial types. He asserted Europe (for example) was the refined product of a long history of racial progression. He stated that historically "different strains in one population have showed differential survival values and often one has reemerged at the expense of others (in Europeans)", according to his book The Races of Europe, The White Race and the New World.[3] He also stated the "maximum survival" of Europeans was increased by their replacement of the indigenous peoples of the "New World".[3] He further asserted the history of the White race to have involved "racial survivals" of the different White subraces.[4]
Paul Broca
Broca is most famous for his discovery of the speech production center of the brain located in the ventroposterior region of the frontal lobes (now known as the Broca's area). He arrived at this discovery by studying the brains of aphasic patients (persons with speech and language disorders resulting from brain injuries), particularly the brain of his first patient in the Bicêtre Hospital, Leborgne, nicknamed "Tan" due to his inability to clearly speak any words other than "tan".

In 1861, through post-mortem autopsy, Broca determined that Tan had a lesion caused by syphilis in the left cerebral hemisphere. This lesion was determined to cover the area of the brain important for speech production. Although history credits this discovery to Broca, it should be noted that another French neurologist, Marc Dax, made similar observations a generation earlier.

Patients with damage to Broca's area and/or to neighboring regions of the left inferior frontal lobe are often categorized clinically as having Broca's aphasia. This type of aphasia, which often involves impairments in speech output, can be contrasted with Wernicke's aphasia, named for Karl Wernicke, which is characterized by damage to more posterior regions of the left hemisphere (in the superior temporal lobe), and by greater impairments in speech comprehension.
Stanley Garn
Stanley Garn was an anthropologist who spent most of his career researching the development and culture of different races. In his 1962 study entitled Culture and the Direction of Human Evolution, Garn stresses that the process of studying and researching the social history of our ancestors must include revaluating the physical fossils and findings we make these judgments upon (Garn 1962). By comparing tooth size, symphysis size, and skull thickness of fossils from Sinanthropus- Pithencanthropus from Java and China with Neanderthals, Garn found the differences to be consistent with evolution and further implied that early hominids with more brains were so intolerant of those with less as to eliminate them in wars of intellectual superiority (Garn 1962).

In another work by Garn, Readings on Race, he joined with geneticists, physiologists, biochemics, and epidemiologists to study the differences between ancient populations. This study looked specifically at the genetic differences of ancient populations that separated them from each other (Garn 1968). In this study, he decided to study the frequency of certain genes in a population rather than concentrating on the differences between skull and other bone measurements (Garn 1968). This measure of research is much more complicated than the former because it is more quantitative than qualitative, so the results show approximately how much the races differ (Garn 1968). Using a quantitative measure like genetic frequency is an advantage for researchers working with a mixed race.

Readings on Race also compared populations based on climate and disease selection, which was less conclusive than genetic frequency (Garn 1968). In another book Human Races, Garn discussed the current problem with differentiating races that most people compare physical traits of each person, which is incorrect since traits are independent (Garn 1965). He also stated in Human Races that many people are eager to use taxonomy, or classifications, to label different races, which is irrelevant since we are so far from having a complete taxonomy and new race-populations are developing now (Garn 1965). Garn continued by explaining that taxonomies are very difficult to assign because many people group a number of distinct varieties into one broad category, stating the differences are too trivial, so who decides which characteristics are worthy of taxonomy? (Garn 1965).

In summary, Garn was able to separate species into geographical races; those which live in the same area but are distinctly different, local races; which live in the same are but are different, and micro races; those which share geography and culture but are still distinctly different (Garn 1965). In summary, Stanley Garn extensively studied the difference between races, along with the best methods of research available to study these differences. He was very dedicated to finding the best way to discriminate between populations of people, and his research is well esteemed among anthropologists of his time.
Vitamin D deficiency
a disease of the skeletal system in which the bones are softened and often bent as a result of vitamin D deficiency in the diet that hinders the normal development of bones and teeth. Rickets most frequently affects malnourished children.
Folate deficiency
Diarrhea, loss of appetite, and weight loss can occur. Additional signs are weakness, sore tongue, headaches, heart palpitations, irritability, and behavioral disorders.[1]

Women with folate deficiency who become pregnant are more likely to give birth to low birth weight and premature infants, and infants with neural tube defects.

In adults, anemia is a sign of advanced folate deficiency.

In infants and children, folate deficiency can slow growth rate.

Some of these symptoms can also result from a variety of medical conditions other than folate deficiency. It is important to have a physician evaluate these symptoms so that appropriate medical care can be given.
an enzyme that catalyses the oxidation of phenols (such as tyrosine) and is widespread in plants and animals. Tyrosinase is a copper-containing enzyme present in plant and animal tissues that catalyzes the production of melanin and other pigments from tyrosine by oxidation, as in the blackening of a peeled or sliced potato exposed to air. When a person has a mutated tyrosinase gene they have albinism, a hereditary disease that one in every 17,000 person has in the United States. An extremely high level of tyrosinase will induce melanoma.
a dark colored organic pigment produced in the skin. There are two forms of melanin----pheomelanin, which is red to yellow in color, and eumelanin, which is dark brown to black. People with light complexioned skin mostly produce pheomelanin, while those with dark colored skin mostly produce eumelanin. High concentrations of melanin near the surface of the skin result in a darker complexion. Suntanned skin also has higher concentrations of melanin.
The diaphorases are a ubiquitous class of flavin-bound enzymes that catalyze the reduction of various dyes which act as hydrogen acceptors from the reduced form of di- and tri- phosphopyridine nucleotides,
an enzyme produced by mammals to break down lactose in milk that they consume. Lactase is needed for the digestion of uncooked dairy products. Lactase deficiency results in diarrhea and other symptoms of physical intolerance of most dairy products.
Living in trees.
A form of movement in which all four limbs are of equal size and make contact with the ground, and the spine is roughly parallel to the ground. Monkeys are typical quadrupedal primates.
an animal that travels through the trees by swinging under branches with a hand over hand motion. The smaller apes and some New World monkeys brachiate. Brachiation is also referred to as suspensory climbing.
A model of macroevolutionary change whereby evolutionary changes occur at a slow, steady rate over time.
All teeth are the same.
Having different types of teeth. Mammals have four different types of teeth: incisors, canines, premolars, and molars.
Y-5 pattern
A cusp pattern seen in the lower molars of all hominoids; there are five main cusps separated by grooves.
2123 dental pattern
One trait that they share with the catarrhines is a distinctive dental formula, 2123, as compared to the more typical primate dental formula of 2133. This dental formula means that the propliopithecids and later catarrhines had 2 incisors, 1 canine, 2 premolars, and 3 molars. Most other primates have 3 premolars instead of 2.
Anthropoidea (characteristics)
The suborder of primates consisting of monkeys, apes, and humans.
Prosimii (characteristics)
The suborder of primates that are biologically primitive compared to anthropoids.
Cattarrhini (derived characteristics)
Catarrhini is a parvorder of the Primates, one of the three major divisions of the suborder Haplorrhini. It contains the family Cercopithecidae (Old World monkeys), the gibbons or lesser apes (Hylobatidae) and the Hominidae (hominids), which include humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos and orangutans. Some count the orangutan as its own family, called Pongidae. Older references described humans and their most close extinct relatives/ancestors as family on its own and placed the great apes in the family Pongidae. The other two major divisions of the suborder Haplorrhini are the prosimian tarsiers, which were formerly classified with the strepsirrhines, and the Platyrrhini (New World monkeys), which live in South America.
Platyrrhini (derived characteristics)
All New World monkeys differ slightly from Old World monkeys in many aspects, the most prominent of which is the nose. This is the feature used most commonly to distinguish between the two groups. The scientific name for New world monkey, Platyrrhini, means "flat nosed", therefore the noses are flatter, with side facing nostrils, compared to the narrow noses of the Old World monkey. Most New world monkeys have long, often prehensile tails. Many are small, arboreal and nocturnal, so our knowledge of them is less comprehensive than that of the more easily observed Old World monkeys. Unlike most Old World monkeys, many New World monkeys form monogamous pair bonds, and show substantial paternal care of young.
Pongidae (derived characteristics)
The family Pongidae, generally referred to as the "great apes" contains three genuses, Pongo. Gorilla, and Pan, and four species: Pongo pygmaeus (orangutans), Gorilla gorilla (gorillas), Pan troglodytes (chimpanzees), and Pan paniscus (bonobos, also known as pygy chimpanzees).
Hominidae (derived characteristics)
The hominids are the members of the biological family Hominidae (the great apes), which includes humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans.

This classification has been revised several times in the last few decades. Originally, the group was restricted to humans and their extinct relatives, with the other great apes being placed in a separate family, the Pongidae. This definition is still used by many anthropologists and by lay people. However, that definition makes Pongidae paraphyletic, whereas most taxonomists nowadays encourage monophyletic groups. Thus many biologists consider Hominidae to include Pongidae as the subfamily Ponginae, or restrict the latter to the orangutans and their extinct relatives like Gigantopithecus. The taxonomy shown here follows the monophyletic groupings.
Strepsirrhine (derived characteristics)
Strepsirrhines are considered to have more primitive features and adaptations than their haplorrhine ("dry-nose", in Greek "simple nose") cousins. Their moist nose is connected to the upper lip, which is connected to the gum, giving them a limit to the facial expressions they can manage. Their brain to body ratio tends to be smaller, indicating a lower intelligence. Their brain's olfactory lobes are larger, lending to the notion that they have a stronger reliance on smell. Their snouts are generally elongated giving them a dog-like appearance, although this is true of some monkeys, too.
Haplorhine (derived characteristics)
One of two suborders of primates suggested to replace the prosimian/anthropoid suborders (the other is the strepsirhines). Haplorhines are primates without a moist nose (tarsiers, monkeys, apes, and humans).
The origin of a new species.
Ring species
In the case where the cline bends around, populations next to each other on the cline can interbreed, but at the point that the beginning meets the end again, the genetic differences that have accumulated along the cline are great enough to prevent interbreeding (represented by the gap between pink and green on the diagram). The interbreeding populations in this circular breeding group are then collectively referred to as a ring species.

[edit] Problem of definition

The problem, then, is whether to quantify the whole ring as a single species (despite the fact that not all individuals can interbreed) or to classify each population as a distinct species (despite the fact that it can interbreed with its near neighbours). Ring species illustrate that the species concept is not as clear-cut as it is often understood to be.

Junk DNA
In molecular biology, "junk" DNA is a collective label for the portions of the DNA sequence of a chromosome or a genome for which no function has yet been identified. About 98% of the human genome has been designated as "junk", including most sequences within introns and most intergenic DNA. While much of this sequence may be an evolutionary artifact that serves no present-day purpose, some is believed to function in ways that are not currently understood. Moreover, the conservation of some junk DNA over many millions of years of evolution may imply an essential function. Some consider the "junk" label as something of a misnomer, but others consider it apposite as junk is stored away for possible new uses, rather than thrown out; others prefer the term "noncoding DNA" (although junk DNA often includes transposons that encode proteins with no clear value to their host genome).
Analogous traits
A trait that is morphologically and functionally similar to another, but which arose from a different ancestral condition. Compare with homologous traits
Homologous traits
Homologous traits (characters) are traits found in different species that have a common origin but may have different functions.
the development of a similar anatomical feature in distinct species lines after divergence from a common ancestor that did not have the initial trait that led to it. The common ancestor is usually more distant in time than is the case with parallelism. Convergence is thought to be due primarily to the independent species lines experiencing the same kinds of natural selection pressures. Convergence is also referred to as convergent evolution.
A language is a system, used to communicate, comprised of a set of symbols and a set of rules (or grammar) by which the manipulation of these symbols is governed. These symbols can be combined productively to convey new information, distinguishing languages from other forms of communication. The word language (without an article) can also refer to the use of such systems as a phenomenon.
Human taxonomy
Human taxonomy is the classification of the species Homo sapiens (Latin: "wise man"), or modern human. Homo is the human genus, which also includes Neanderthals and many other extinct species of hominid; H. sapiens is the only surviving species of the genus Homo. Extinct Homo species are known as archaic humans. Modern humans are the subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens, differentiated from a direct ancestor, Homo sapiens idaltu.

Prior to the current scientific classification of humans, philosophers and scientists have made various attempts to classify humans. They offered various definitions of the human being and various schemes for classifying types of humans. Biologists once classified races as subspecies, but today scientists question even the concept of race itself. Certain issues in human taxonomy remain topics of debate today.
In ethology, an ethogram is a catalogue of the discrete behaviors typically employed by a species. These behaviors are sufficiently stereotyped that an observer may record the number of such acts, or the amount of time engaged in the behaviours in a time budget
Behavioral ecology
The study of behavior from an ecological and evolutionary perspective.
Biological species concept
A definition of species that focuses on reproductive capabilities, where organisms from different populations are considered to be in the same species if they naturally interbreed and produce fertile offspring.
The study of behavior from an evolutionary perspective, particularly the role of natural selection.