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Evolution & Genetics

8.L.4.1.1 & 8.L.4.1.2

Natural Selection A process in which individuals that have certain inherited traits tend to survive & reproduce at higher rates than other individuals because of those traits.
Evolution Change in a kind of organism over time; process by which modern organisms have descended from ancient organisms. (change over time)
Charles Darwin British natural scientist who formulated a theory of evolution by natural selection, "Father of Evolution"
Mutation A change in the sequence of a gene or DNA molecule
Heredity The biological process whereby genetic factors are transmitted from one generation to the next
Homologous structure Structure - SIMILAR Function - DIFFERENT Both have a common ancestor (Ex. human leg and a horse leg)
Analogous structure Structure - DIFFERENT Function - SIMILAR does not have a common ancestor (Ex: butterfly's wing and bat's wing)
Vestigial structure A structure that is present in an organism but no longer serves its original purpose
Survival of the Fittest Process by which individuals that are better suited to their environment survive and reproduce most successfully; also called natural selection
Adaptation A characteristic that IMPROVES an individual's ability to survive and reproduce in a particular environment.
Diversity Many different types of organisms in an ecosystem
Selective breeding The breeding of organisms for desired characteristics
Theory of Evolution 1. Species change over time in response to changes in their environment 2. All life is related and has descended from a common ancestor 3. Overtime beneficial mutations accumulate and the result is a different organism 4. Beneficial mutations are passed on to the next generation.
Comparative anatomy The study of similarities and differences among structures of living species.
Embryology The branch of biology & medicine concerned with the study of embryos and their development.
Genetic variation The variety of different types of genes in a species or population.
Genetics The study of gene structure and function.
Gene A part of DNA on a chromosome that codes for a specific trait
Offspring A new organism produced by one or more parents
Common ancestor The most recent ancestral form or species from which two different species evolved
Genetic diversity The variety of genes within a given species
Mimicry Ability of an animal to look like another more harmful animal; defense against predators
Camouflage Any color, pattern, shape, or behavior that enables an animal to blend in with its surroundings; defense against predators
Structural adaptation An inherited physical characteristic that helps an organism survive in its environment.
Functional adaptation An adaptation that involves internal body systems that affect the biochemistry
Behavioral adaptation An inherited behavior that helps an organism survive


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