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32 Cards in this Set

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Variation

A visible or invisible difference in an organism

Biological species

A group of reproductively compatible populations; meaning that members of these populations can interbreed and produce offspring that are healthy and are themselves able to reproduce successfully.

Mutations

Are changes in the genetic material of an organism

Selective advantage

Characteristic that improves an organism's chance of survival, usually in a changing environment; the result of mutations

Natural selection

A process that results when the characteristics of a population of organisms change because individuals with certain inherited traits survive specific local environmental conditions and, through reproduction, pass on their traits to their offspring

Neutral mutation

Changes in DNA sequence that are neither beneficial nor detrimental to the ability of an organism to survive or reproduce.

Harmful mutation

If a mutation changes a protein produced by a gene, the result is likely to be harmful.

Beneficial mutation

Raw materials that may in time be taken up by natural selection and spread through the population

Asexual reproduction

Reproduction that requires only one parent and does not involve gametes. Produces genetically identical off spring

Allopatric speciation

Biological populations of the same species become isolated from each other to an extent that prevents or interferes with genetic interchange.

Selective pressure

Environmental condition or conditions that select for certain characteristics of individuals, and select against others.

Theory of evolution by natural selection

A well-supported, widely accepted explanation of how species have changed, and continue to change, during Earth's history as a result of natural selection.

Palaeontology

The study of ancient life through the examination of fossils.

Inheritance of acquired characteristics

Theory that characteristics acquired during an organism's lifetime could be passed to its offspring

Transitional fossils

The remains of the impressions of a prehistoric organism that shows intermediary links between groups of organisms and shares characteristics among these groups.

Fossil record

Remains or traces of past life found in sedimentary rock, which reveals the history of life on earth and the kinds of organisms that were alive in the past .

Biogeography

The study of the past and present geographical distribution of species.

Homologous structures

Body parts in different species that have the same evolutionary origin and structural elements but may have a different function.

Human arm, dolphin fin, bat wings

Analogous structures

Body parts in different species that have a similar function but evolved separately.

Insect wings and bird wings

Embryology

The branch of biology that deals with the development of an embryo from fertilization of the ovum to the fetus stage.

Speciation

The formation of new species

Geographical barrier

Feature such as a river or mountain that prohibits interbreeding and results in speciation by physically separating populations.

Biological barriers

Factor such as behaviour that keeps species reproductively isolated even when they exist in the same region

Gradualism

In evolution, the theory that change occurs slowly and steadily in a linear fashion, and that large changes occur from through the accumulation of many small changes.

Punctuated equilibrium

Model that suggests that evolutionary history consists of long periods of stasis ( stable equilibrium), punctuated by periods of divergence.

Radiometric dating

A technique used to date materials such as rocks or carbon, usually based on comparison between the observed abundance of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope and its decay products, using known decay rates.

Endemic

An infection in a population when that infection is maintained in that population without the need for external inputs

Endemic

An infection in a population when that infection is maintained in that population without the need for external inputs

DNA

A molecule that encodes genetic instructions used in the development and functions of all know living organisms and many viruses.

Genes

The basic unit of heredity; a specific sequence of DNA that encodes a protein , tRNA, rRNA molecule, or regulates the transcription of such sequence; governs the expression of a particular trait and can be passed to an offspring.

Genes

The basic unit of heredity; a specific sequence of DNA that encodes a protein , tRNA, rRNA molecule, or regulates the transcription of such sequence; governs the expression of a particular trait and can be passed to an offspring.

Artificial selection

The process by which humans breed other animals and plants for a particular trait.