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Evolution

Terms associated with our Evolution Unit.

TermDefinition
adaptation A trait that helps an organism survive and reproduce
population A group of individuals that belong to the same species and live in the same area
gene pool Combined genetic information of all the members of a particular population
evolution Change in a kind of organism over time; process by which modern organisms have descended from ancient organisms.
genetic variation Differences among individuals in the composition of their genes or other DNA segments
mutation A change in a gene or chromosome.
genetic recombination The regrouping of genes in an offspring that results in a genetic makeup that is different from that of the parents.
genetic drift A change in the allele frequency of a population as a result of chance events rather than natural selection.
natural selection A process in which individuals that have certain inherited traits tend to survive and reproduce at higher rates than other individuals because of those traits.
migration Form of relocation diffusion involving permanent move to a new location.
directional selection Form of natural selection in which the entire curve moves; occurs when individuals at one end of a distribution curve have higher fitness than individuals in the middle or at the other end of the curves
stabilizing selection Natural selection that favors intermediate variants by acting against extreme phenotypes
disruptive selection form of natural selection in which a single curve splits into two; occurs when individuals at the upper and lower ends of a distribution curve have higher fitness than individuals near the middle
Hardy-Weinberg Principle principle that allele frequencies in a population will remain constant unless one or more factors cause the frequencies to change
speciation Formation of new species
homologous structures Structures in different species that are similar because of common ancestry.
analogous structures Body parts that share a common function, but not structure
vestigial structures remnant of a structure that may have had an important function in a species' ancestors, but has no clear function in the modern species.
comparative anatomy The comparison of body structures and how they vary among species
comparative embryology Embryos of vertebrates share many anatomical homologies.
phylogenetic tree A family tree that shows the evolutionary relationships thought to exist among groups of organisms
Created by: kmaddix