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from the USAD glossary 2008-2009

abiogenesis

life from nonliving material

adaptation

characteristic that affords an organism greater fitness

adaptive radiation

evolutionary diversificiation into several different populations

alleles

different versions of the same gene

allopatry

occuring in distinctly seperate locations

allopatric speciation

geographically mediated species formation

amniotic egg

egg w/ compartmentalized sacs that allowed vertebrates to reproduce on land

analogous structures

similar features from common environments

binomial nomenclature

developed by Linnaeus; first term genus, second term species

biogeography

explaining the ecological and historical reasons for the observed geographic distributions of organisms

chromosome

double-stranded DNA molecule, contains a series of genes

clade

group of organisms that share a most recent common ancestor; "monophyletic group"

cladistics

method of phylogeny reconstruction and system of classification that groups organisms according to the explicit definition of uniquely shared and derived characteristics

cladogram

branching/bifurcating diagram; shows evolutionary relationships; depicts points where species diverged

common ancestor

real or hypothetical taxon from which two evolutionary lineages are directly descended

diploid

two matched sets of chromosomes, therefore, two sets of geenes in nucleus

direct fitness

how many alleles a genotype contributes to next generation's gene pool

DNA

deoxyribonucleic acid; nucleotides in a double helix; controls inheritance

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