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10 Cards in this Set

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Natural Selection

Differential success in the reproduction of different phenotypes resulting from the interaction of organisms with their environment. Evolution occurs when natural selection causes changes in relative frequencies of alleles in the gene pool.

Evolutionary Adaptation

An accumulation of inherited characteristics that enhance organisms' ability to survive and reproduce in specific environments.


All the changes that have transformed life on Earth from its earliest beginnings to the diversity that characterizes it today.


Ordered division of organisms into categories based on a set of characteristics used to asses similarities and differences, leading to a classification scheme; the branch of biology concerned with naming and classifying the diverse forms of life.


A preserved remnant or impression of an organism that lived in the past.

Sedimentary Rocks

Rock formed from sand and mud that once settled in layers on the bottom of seas, lakes, and marshes. Sedimentary rocks are often rich in fossils.


The scientific study of fossils.


The hypothesis by George Cuvier that each boundary between strata corresponded in time to a catastrophe, such as a flood or drought, that had destroyed many of the species living there at that time.


A view of Earth's history that attributes profound change to the cumulative product of slow but continuous processes.


Charles Lyell's idea that geologic processes have not changed throughout Earth's history.