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natural selection

the mechanism for evolution

evolutionary adaptation

natural selection leads to ___________ ___________, as individuals with beneficial heritable traits leave more offspring, and the frequency of such traits in a population increases over generations

evolution

the changes in a population's genetic composition over time

taxonomy

the branch of biology that names and classifies organisms; originated in the work of Linnaeus

fossils

______ are remnants or impressions of past organisms

paleontology

the study of fossils

catastrophism

Cuvier believed in ___________; he maintained that the differences he observed in the fossils found in different strata were the result of locat catastrophic events such as floods or drought and were not indicative of evolution

gradualism

the idea that immense change is the cumulative result tof slow but continuous processes; proposed by Hutton

artificial selection

humans have modified other species over many generations by selecting and breeding individuals that posses desired traits - __________ __________

homology

similarity in characteristics resulting from a shared ancestry

homologous structures

the arms, forelegs, flippers, and wings of different mammals are ________ _________ that represent variations on a structural theme that was present in their common ancestry

vestigial organs

some of the most intriguing homologous structures are _____ _________, structures of marginal importance to the organism

biogeography

the study of the past and present distribution of species

endemic

plants and animals found nowhere else in the world

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