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8Sci CH17

8th Science CH17 Evolution of Life

evolution ongoing process of change in the inherited features of a population of organisms over time; evolutionary evidence can be drawn from fossil remains, the chemical structure of organisms, and the physical structures of cells
homologous structure similarity in structure and origin of the body parts of different organisms; for example, a bat’s wing, a human’s arm, and a dolphin’s flipper are homologous structures and suggest that the organisms evolved from a common ancestor
mutation permanent change in a chromosome or gene; most mutations have little effect on organisms but some mutations can be harmful or helpful; variations in color, size, and shape are often caused by mutations
natural selection process by which organisms with variations better adapted to their environments are more likely to survive and reproduce; Darwin formed the theory of natural selection to explain evolution
primate mammalian group including apes, monkeys, and humans that shares many characteristics including binocular vision, flexible shoulders,and opposable thumbs
variation differences in inherited traits or behaviors among members of the same species; advantageous variations help organisms survive in their environments and are called adaptations