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Biology Chapt 15

Biology Chapter 15

TermDefinition
evolution Genetic change in a species over time, resulting in the development of genetic and phenotypic differences that are the basis of natural selection; descent of organisms from a common ancestor.
extant Species, or other levels of taxa, that are still living.
vestigial structure Remnant of a structure that was functional in some ancestor but is no longer functional in the organism in question.
paleontology Study of fossils that results in knowledge about the history of life.
strata (sing. stratum) Ancient layers of sedimentary rock; result from slow deposition of silt, volcanic ash, and other materials.
inheritance of acquired characteristics Lamarckian belief that characteristics acquired during the lifetime of an organism can be passed on to offspring.
uniformitarianism Belief, supported by James Hutton, that geologic forces act at a continuous, uniform rate.
biogeography Study of the geographical distribution of organisms.
Natural selection Organisms exhibit variation that be passed from one generation to next, Organisms compete for available resources, Individuals w/in population differ terms their reproductive success, Individuals w/in population differ in terms their reproductive success
fitness Ability of an organism to reproduce and pass its genes to the next fertile generation; measured against the ability of other organisms to reproduce in the same environment.
adaptation Species modification in structure, function, or behavior that makes a species more suitable to its environment.
artificial selection Intentional breeding of certain traits, or combinations of traits, over others to produce a desirable outcome.
fossil Any past evidence of an organism that has been preserved in the Earth’s crust.
transitional fossil Fossil that bears a resemblance to two groups that in the present day are classified separately.
homologous, homologous structure A structure that is similar in different types of organisms because these organisms descended from a common ancestor.
analogous, analogous structure Structure that has a similar function in separate lineages but differs in anatomy and ancestry.
Created by: Haleyannestes