Inherited characteristic of an organism that enhances its survival and reproduction in specific environments.
Having characteristics that are similar because of convergent evolution, not homology.
The selective breeding of domesticated plants and animals to encourage the occurrence of desirable traits.
The study of the past and present distribution of species
The principle that events in the past occurred suddenly and were caused by different mechanisms than those operating today. See uniformitarianism.
The slow movement of the continental plates across Earth's surface.
The evolution of similar features in independent evolutionary lineages.
Referring to a species that is confined to a specific, relatively small geographic area.
A branching diagram that reflects a hypothesis about evolutionary relationships among groups of organisms.
A preserved remnant or impression of an organism that lived in the past.
Structures in different species that are similar because of common ancestry.
Similarity in characteristics resulting from a shared ancestry.
A mammal, such as a koala, kangaroo, or opossum, whose young complete their embryonic development inside a maternal pouch called the marsupium.
A process in which organisms with certain inherited characteristics are more likely to survive and reproduce than are organisms with other characteristics.
The scientific study of fossils.
The supercontinent that formed near the end of the Paleozoic era, when plate movements brought all the landmasses of Earth together.
(plural, strata) A rock layer formed when new layers of sediment cover older ones and compress them.
Any detectable variant in a genetic character.
The principle stating that mechanisms of change are constant over time. See catastrophism.
A structure of marginal, if any, importance to an organism. Vestigial structures are historical remnants of structures that had important functions in ancestors.