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Evolution

Question/TermAnswer/Definition
What were environmental conditions like on early Earth? Harsh conditions, heavy lightning storms, volcanoes erupting everywhere, low amounts of oxygen, high amounts of carbon dioxide
What were Earth's first organisms? Bacteria (prokaryotes)
Endosymbiosis Theory of how eukaryotes evolved from prokaryotes. Single-celled prokaryotes took in other smaller prokaryotes and lived together.
Natural Selection Organisms that survive and reproduce are those with traits best suited for their environment.
Theory of Acquired Traits Lamarck's theory that said organisms pass on traits to their offspring (TRUE!) but also said organisms can pass on traits acquired during their lives (FALSE!)
Charles Darwin Person who developed his theory of natural selection (evolution) after visiting the Galapagos Islands.
Galapagos Islands Islands where Darwin developed his theory of natural selection by observing finches (birds) and how their beaks differed along with tortoises.
Convergent Evolution Over many generations, unrelated species start to have similar traits due to a similar environment. Example: insect wings and bird wings.
Divergent Evolution When a common ancestor splits into separate species due to environmental factors. Example: finches on Galapagos Islands all originated from a common ancestor finch native to South America
Homologous Structure Structures on difference species that look similar, but do not perform the same function. This means that the species have a common ancestor. Example: Whale flipper bones, human leg bones, and bat wing bones all have similar bone structures.
What evidence do we have for evolution? Fossils, radiometric (carbon) dating, structural similarities between different species, embryos that look similar, geographic locations (similar fossils found in Africa and South America)
Phylogenetic Tree/Cladogram A diagram that shows evolutionary relationships between species.
Vestigial Structure Structures within organisms that serve no purpose, but show us that at one point an ancestor of that species used it for something. Example would be appendix in humans, pelvis in whales, eyes in fish that live in caves.
Change over time Darwin's theory shows how species gradually change over time with individuals with traits that best fit the environment surviving and passing on their traits to offspring.
Fitness The ability for an organism to survive and reproduce within a population.
Survival of the Fittest A part of Darwin's theory where only those individuals within a population who are best suited to survive within the environment and reproduce are those who survive.
Genetic Diversity A population with a high amount of differences between individuals is more likely to survive environmental change because it is more likely that at least a few members of the population will have a trait that can survive the environment.
In order for a species to change over time, what must happen to individuals within a population for there to be adaptations? Mutations causing unique traits that just so happen to be better suited for the environment.
Directional Selection Natural selection where one of the extremes is better than the other. Example would be that the larger a lion is, the more likely it will survive. Smaller lions are often weak and killed.
Stabilizing Selection Natural selection where the average trait is better than either extreme. Example: human babies that are born too small, can lose heat easily and may not survive, while those that are too big may be have complications during childbirth (medium size=best)
Disruptional Selection Natural selection where both extremes are better than the average. Example: a population of rabbits that are black, white, or gray living in habitat with black rocks and white rocks. Gray rabbits would not survive since they have no area that matches.
Artificial Selection (or selective breeding) Form of selection where humans chose the traits that they want to pass on. Example would be dog breeds, where humans choose certain attributes of dogs that they like creating different breeds.
Stanley Miller and Harold Urey By mimicking the conditions of early Earth, these scientists were able to create amino acids and other organic compounds by using chemicals found during early Earth and adding energy in the form of electricity (lightning).
Gene Pool All the gene possibilities (and the traits they create) within a population
Founder Effect A loss of genetic variations occurs when a new population is established by leaving a larger population.
Hardy-Weinberg Principle A theory that basically says in the absence of evolutionary influence gene frequencies (number of recessive, dominant, etc traits) stay similar across generations. Highly unlikely, since there will always be some sort of influence.
Speciation The creation of a new species due to environmental change and/or mutation.
Behavioral Isolation Certain behaviors that allow species that are similar to know who to mate with so there is no cross-species breeding.
Adaptive Radiation When a single species breaks into various groups, filling different ecological niches, and changing forms as they do. Rapid evolution.
Coevolution When two or more species evolve at the same time, at the same rate, due to evolutionary pressures. Example would be a flower and its pollinator changing over time to better suit each other's mutualistic relationship.
Created by: Rylands