extinction

the process through which a species disappears from Earth

mass extinction

this occurs when large numbers of species die out in a fairly short period of time.

evolution

a process of change over time

natural selection

theory by Charles Darwin that explains how populations evolve into new species

adaptation

a trait that improves an organism's chance for survival and reproduction

continental drift

idea suggested by Alfred Wegener that states that a giant landmass known as Pangaea gradually split apart and the continents moved to their present location.

theory of plate tectonics

states that the Earth's lithosphere (land), is broken into large sections called tectonic plates that move and change position over time.

lithosphere

this word means land

tectonic plates

land that is broken into large sections

asthenosphere

a dense molten layer of Earth that tectonic plates float on

convergent boundary

when tectonic push together causing the land to rise

divergent boundary

when tectonic plates are pulled apart. These ocean plates create new seafloor and undersea mountains called mid-ocean ridges. These boundaries on land can produce volcanoes.

transform boundary

when tectonic plates slide past each other. These boundaries cause earthquakes.

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