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BIOL212

Majors animal: General vocabulary

TermDefinition
Phylogeny The origin and diversification of any taxon, or the evolutionary history of its origin and diversification, usually presented as a dendrogram.
Proximate cause The factors that underlie the functioning of a biological system at a particular place and time. Immediate cause.
Ultimate cause The evolutionary factors responsible for the origin, state of being, or role of a biological system.
Inheritance of acquired characteristics The discredited notion that organisms obtain new adaptions and pass them by heredity to their offspring.
Uniformitarianism Methodological assumptions that the laws of chemistry and physics have remained constant, and that past geological events occurred by processes that can be observed today.
Perpetual change The living world is neither constant nor cycling, but is always undergoing irreversible modification.
Common descent Darwin's theory that all forms of life are derived from a shared ancestral population through a branching of evolutionary lineages.
Multiplication of species Darwinian theory that the evolutionary process generates new species through a branching of evolutionary lineages derived from an ancestral species.
Gradualism A component of Darwin's evolutionary theory postulating that evolution occurs by the temporal accumulation of small, incremental changes by populations, usually across very long periods of geological time.
Natural selection The interactions between organismal character variation and the environment that cause differences in rates of survival and reproduction among varying organisms in a population.
Sorting Differential survival and reproduction among varying individuals.
Homology Similarly of parts of organs of different organisms caused by evolutionary derivation from a corresponding part or organ in a remote ancestor.
Nested heirarchy A pattern in which species are ordered into a series of increasingly more inclusive clades according to the taxonomic distribution of synapomorphies (descended from a common evolutionary ancestor).
Ontolgeny An act of being born; the course of development of an individual from egg to senescence.
Homeotic genes Genes identified through mutations, that give developmental identity to specific body segments.
Homeobox Regulatory sequences of protein-coding genes that regulate development.
Recapitulation (biogenetic law) Summarizing or repeating; hypothesis that an individual repeats its phylogenic history in its development.
Reproductive barriers Factors that prevent one sexually propagating population from interbreeding and exchanging genes with another population.
Allopatric speciation The hypothesis that new species are formed by dividing an ancestral species into geographically isolated subpopulations that evolve reproductive barriers between them through independent evolutionary divergence from their common ancestor.
Adaptive radiation Evolutionary diversification that produces numerous ecologically disparate lineages from a single ancestral one, especially when this diversification occurs within a short interval of geological time.
Phyletic gradualism A model of evolution in which morphological evolutionary change is continuous and incremental and occurs mainly within unbranched species or lineages over long periods of geological time.
Punctuated equilibrium A model of evolution in which morphological evolutionary change is discontinuous; discrete geologically instantaneous events of speciation.
Microevolution A change in the gene pool of a population across generations
Macroevolution Evolutionary change on a grand scale, encompassing the origin of novel designs, evolutionary trends, adaptive radiation, and mass extinction.
Polymorphism the presence in a species of more than one structural type of individual.
Parthenogenesis Unisexual reproduction involving the production of young by females not fertilized by males. (Ex: bees)
Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium Mathematical demonstration of the Mendelian hereditary process does not change the populational frequencies of alleles or genotypes across generations, and that change in allelic or genotypic frequencies requires factors such as natural selection.
Genetic drift Change in gene frequencies by change processes in the evolutionary process of animals.
Stabilizing selection Natural selection that favors average values of a continuously varying trait and disfavors extreme values
Directional selection Natural selection that favors one extreme value of a continuously varying trait and disfavors other values.
Disruptive selection Natural selection that favors simultaneously two different extreme values of a continuously varying trait but disfavors intermediate values.
Permian extinction A mass extinction that occurred 245mya in which 96% of existing species became extinct, marking the end of the Paleozoic era.
Creataceous extinction A mass extinction that occurred 65mya in which 76% of existing species, including dinosaurs, became extinct, marking the end of the Mesozoic era.
Catastrophic species selection Differential survival among species during a time of mass extinction based on character variation that permits some species but not others to withstand severe environmental disturbances.
Positive assortative mating A tendency of an individual to mate preferentially with others whose phenotypes are similar to its own.
Fitness Degree of adjustment and suitability for a particular environment
Created by: scandalouscanine