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7th Unit 4

Evolution and Natural Section Vocabulary

TermDefinition
Adaptation An alteration or adjustment in structure or habits, often hereditary, by which a species or individual improves its condition in relationship to its environment.
Ancestor The actual or hypothetical organism from which later kinds evolved.
Behavior The action or response taken by an organism when it responds to a stimulus or its environment.
Evolution Change in the genetic composition of a population during successive generations, as a result of natural selection acting on the genetic variation among individuals, and resulting in the development of new species.
Galapagos Islands A group of volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean west of the mainland of Ecuador. Famous for their rare species of fauna. Charles Darwin visited the islands in 1835 and collected scientific data that contributed to his theory of natural selection.
Mutation The act or process of being altered or changed.
Peppered moths A temperate species of night-flying moth. Educators often use peppered moth evolution as an example of natural selection.
Homologous structure The similar anatomical structures such as bones or organs of two or more organisms that indicate a common evolutionary origin, even though the structures have different functions.
Vestigial A structure such as a bone or organ in an organism that has lost all of its original function due to evolution.
Natural selection The process by which, according to Darwin's theory of evolution, only the organisms best adapted to their environment tend to survive and transmit their genetic characteristics to succeeding generations while those less adapted tend to be eliminated.
Adaptation An alteration or adjustment in structure or habits, often hereditary, by which a species or individual improves its condition in relationship to its environment.
Reproductive success For a given individual, the number of offspring that survive to reproduce.
Fitness The extent to which an organism is adapted to or able to produce offspring in a particular environment.
Inheritable characteristics A trait that has been passed down from other generations.
Variation Marked difference or deviation from the normal or recognized form, function, or structure.
Created by: darrin_evans