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Chapter 10

Principles of Evolution

evolution the process of biological change by which descendants come to differ from their ancestors
species a group of organisms so similar to one another that they can reproduce and have fertile offspring
fossil traces of organisms that existed in the past
catastrophism this theory states that natural disasters such as floods and volcanic eruptions have happened often during Earth's long history
gradualism slow changes over a long period of time
uniformitarianism this theory states that the geologic processes that shape Earth are uniform through time
variation the difference in a physical traits of an individual from those of other individuals in the group to which it belongs
adaptation a feature that allows an organism to better survive in its environment
artificial selection the process by which humans change a species by breeding it for certain traits
heritability the ability of a trait to be passed down from one generation to the next
natural selection a mechanism by which individuals that have inherited beneficial adaptation produce more offspring on average than do other individuals
population all the individuals of a species that live in an area
fitness a measure of the ability to survive and produce more offspring relative to other members of the population in a given environment
biogeography the study of the distribution of organisms around the world
homologous structure features that are similar in structure but appear in different organisms and have different functions
analogous structure structures that perform a similar function but are not similar in origin
vestigial structure are remnants or organs or structures that had a function in an early ancestor
paleontology the study of fossils or extinct organisms
Created by: tuohybio1415