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43 Cards in this Set

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Primates
The order of mammals that has a complex of characteristics related to initial adaptation to life in the trees.
Homology
Similarity due to descent from a common ancestor.
Homoplasy
Similarity due to independent evolution.
Parallel Evolution
(H)
Independent evolution of similar traits in closely related species, such as the increase in dental size among a number of early human ancestors.
(H)
One of the two different types of homoplasy.
Convergent Evolution
(H)
Independent evolution of similar traits in rather distinct evolutionary lines, such as the evolution of flight in both birds and flies.
(H)
One of the two different types of homoplasy.
Primitive Trait
(H)
A trait that HAS NOT changed from an ancestral state.
(H)
The five digits of the human hand and foot are also traits inherited from earlier vertebrate ancestors.
Derived Trait
A trait that HAS changed from an ancestral state.
Evolutionary Systematics
A school of thought that considers the overall similarity of all (primitive and derived) homologous traits when classifying organisms into taxonomic groups.
Cladistics
A school of thought that only looks at shared derived homologous traits and classifies organisms based solely on their evolutionary relationships.
Outgroup
A group used for comparison in cladistic analyses to determine whether the ancestral state of a trait is primitive or derived.
Chordata
A vertebrate phylum consisting of organisms that possess a notochord at some point in their life.
(Animals with a spinal cord)
Notochord
A flexible internal rod that runs along the back of an animal.
Vertebrata
A subphylum of the phylum Chordata, defined by the presence of an internal, segmented spinal column and bilateral symmetry.
Bilateral Symmetry
Symmetry in which the right and left sides of the body are approximately mirror images.
Placenta
An organ that develops inside a pregnant placental mammal that provides the fetus with oxygen and food and helps filter out harmful substances.
Prenatal
The period of life from conception until birth.
Postnatal
The period of life from birth until death.
Homeotherm
An organism capable of maintaining a constant body temperature under most circumstances.
Homodontic
Meaning that all of an organisms teeth are the same.
Heterodontic
Meaning that an organism has different types of teeth.
Dental Formula
A short-hand method of describing the number of each type of tooth in one half of one jaw on a mammal.
Cerebrum
The area of the forbrain that consists of the outermost layer of brain cells, associated with memory, learning, and intelligence.
Arboreal
Living in trees.
Terrestrial
Living on the ground.
Prehensile
Capable of grasping.
Specialized Structure
A biological structure adapted to a narrow range of conditions and used in very specific ways.
Generalized Structure
A biological structure adapted to a wide range of condittions and used in very general ways.
Binocular Stereoscopic Vision
Overlapping feilds of vision with both sides of the brain receiving images from both eyes, thereby providing depth perception.
Monogamy
An exclusive sexual bond between an adult male and an adult female for a long period of time.
Polygamy
A sexual bond between an adult male and an adult female in which either individual may have more than one mate at the same time.
Social Structure
The composition of a social group and the way it is organized; including size, age structure, and the number of each sex in the group. There are five of these social groups.
Solitary Group
The smallest primate social group, consisting of the mother and her dependent offspring.
Monogamous Family Group
Social structure in which the primary social group consists of an adult male, an adult female, and their immature offspring.
Polyandrous Group
A rare type of primate social structure, consisting of a small number of adult males, one reproductively active adult female, and their offspring. Other females may belong to the group but are not reproductively active.
Uni-male Group
Social structure in which the primary social group consists of a single adult male, several adult females, and their offspring.
Multimale/Multifemale Group
A type of social structure in which the primary social group is made up of several adult males, several adult females, and their offspring.
Dominance Hierarchy
The ranking system within a society that indicates which individuals are dominant in social behaviors.
Sexual Dimorphism
The average difference in body size between adult males and adult females.
Home Range
The size of the geographic area that is normally occupide and used by a social group.
Behavioral Ecology
The study of behavior from an ecological and evolutionary perspective.
Parental Investment
Parental behaviors that increase the probablility that offspring will survive.
Kin Selection
A concept used in evolutionary explainations of altruism. Sacrificial behaviors, for example, can be selected for if they increase the probability of survival of close relatives.
Infanticide
The killing of infants.