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26 terms

evolution

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evolution
change over time; process by which modern organisms descended from ancient organisms
theory
well-tested, well-supported explanation that unifies a broad range of observations
fossil
preserved remains of an ancient organism
natural variation
differences among individuals of a species; results from mutation and sexual reproduction
struggle for existence
competition between organisms for food and space
fitness
ability of an organism to survive and reproduce in its environment
adaptation
inherited characteristic that increases an organism's chance of survival
survival of the fittest
individuals that are better suited to their environment survive and reproduce most successfully; natural selection
natural selection
individuals that are better suited to their environment survive and reproduce most successfully; survival of the fittest
homologous structure
structures that have different mature forms but develop from the same embryonic tissues
vestigial structure
organ so reduced in size, it does not serve an important function; may be homologous to structures in other organisms
species
two organisms that are so similar they can interbreed in nature and produce fertile offspring
speciation
formation of a new species as a result of reproductive isolation
reproductive isolation
separation of species that prevents them from interbreeding and producing fertile offspring
behavioral isolation
type of reproductive isolation in which two organisms have different mating rituals that prevent them from interbreeding
geographic isolation
type of reproductive isolation in which two populations are separated by geographic barries like mountains or bodies of water
biodiversity
variety of organisms that exist in the biosphere
taxonomy
classification of organisms
binomial nomenclature
two part scientfic name for an organism; its genus is listed first, followed by its species
genus
first part of an organism's scientific name
kingdom
second largest taxonomic group; there are six - animalia, plantae, protista, eubacteria, archaebacteria, fungi
domain
most inclusive taxonomic group, larger than kingdom; three exist - bacteria, archaea, eukaryota
Protista
a single celled plant or animal, ex. amoeba, paramecia, euglena
divergent evolution
pattern of evolution in which two species become more and more dissimilar
Fungi
kingdom of heterotrophs that obtain nutrients through absorption, ex. mushrooms, yeasts
Eukaryota
domain of organisms that contain nuclei, includes animals, plants, fungi, and protists