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29 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Evolution
the gradual change of allele frequencies found in a population
Organic evolution
the process of continual change that occurs in species over time
Fossil
any trace or remains of an organism that has been preserved by natural processes
Sedimentary Rock
a type of rock formed from layers of particles that settled to the bottom of a body of water, often containing fossils
Absolute dating
any method that enables scientists to find out how long ago an event occured
Relative dating
any method of determining the order in which events occured
Homologous structures
structures found in different kinds of organisms that have the same basic arrangement of parts and a similar pattern of embryologic development
Analogous structures
structures found in different kinds of organisms that are similar function or outward appearance, but dissimilar in basic structure or embryologic development
Vestigal structures
nonfunctional structures in an organism that are a remnant of structures that were functional in some anscestral form of the organism
Adaptation
any kind of inherited trait that improves the chances of survival and reproduction for an organism
Variations
the characteristics in individuals that differ from the typical characteristics of other individuals of the same species
Speciation
the formation of new species
Spontaneous generation
the idea that living things regularly arise from nonliving matter; abiogenesis
Biogenesis
the theory that living organisms only originate from other organisms
Geologic time scale
a timetable of the earth's history, constructed by geologists
Gradualism
Darwin's theory of evolution, in which new species arise through gradual changes in their characteristics, and thus evolution occurs very slowly
Punctual equilibrium
a theory of evolution stating that a species remains the same for a long time and then evolves rapidly during a short time interval
Camouflage
a protective adaptation that enables an organism to visually blend into the environment
Warning coloration
a protective adaptation in which the bright colors of an organism make it easily recognized
Mimicry
a protective adaptation in which one species is protected from its enemies by its resemblance to another species
Mutation
the appearance of a new allele on a chromosome
Extinction
the end of a species when the last individual of that species has died
Natural selection
the process whereby organisms with favorable variations survive and produce more offspring than less well-adapted organisms
Adaptive value
any trait that helps an organism survive and reproduce under a given set of environmental conditions
Fossil record
the history of life as determined by the relative age of fossils
Theory
an explaination based on facts that apply to a broad range of phenomena
Overproduction
when species produce far more offspring than are needed to maintain the population
Isolation
anything that prevents two groups within a species from interbreeding
Industrial Melanism
the development of dark-colored organisms in a population exposed to industrial air pollution