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Evolution Vocab

TermDefinition
Adaptation An inherited trait that helps an organism survive and reproduce in its environment
Analogous structures Refers to body parts that share a common function but are not structurally related.
Artificial Selection The practice by which humans select plants or animals for breeding based on desired traits.
Cladogram Diagram that shows the evolutionary relationships among a group of organisms.
Common descent Principle that all living things were derived from common ancestors
Descent with modification Over time, species have evolved into new species.
Embryology The study of development of an organism. If organisms develop in similar ways they are also likely to share a common ancestor.
Evolution Refers to the process in which populations gradually change over time.
Extinction When all of the members of a species have died.
Fitness Describes how well an organism can survive and reproduce in its environment.
Homologous Structures Related organisms share common structural traits, like limbs on a human and the front legs of a cat.
Jean Baptiste Lamarck Thought that acquired traits, like stronger muscles, could be passed on to offspring.
Molecular Evidence Scientists have found that species that are closely related have similar DNA in their cells.
Mutation A rare change in the DNA of a gene, ultimately creating genetic diversity.
Natural Selection The process by which organisms that inherit advantageous traits tend to reproduce more successfully than the other organisms do.
Speciation The formation of a new species.
Theory A well-supported and widely accepted explanation of nature. These explain how things happen in nature.
Thomas Malthus Influenced Darwin because he described "the struggle for survival" among species due to population growth and limiting factors.
Variations These are natural differences in traits within a species.
Vestigial organs These no longer have any function in the body but have been retained during the process of evolution.
Created by: Tayguz2021