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22 terms

Evolution

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Adaptation
a structure, trait or behavior that improves an organism's chance of survival
Ancestor
an early kind of animal from which later ones have developed; a forerunner.
Camouflage
to hide by blending in with surroundings
Classification
the process of grouping things based on their similarities
Competition
the struggle between organisms to survive in a habitat with limited resources
Descendants
a person or animal that is descended from a specific ancestor; an offspring.
Evolution
the gradual change in a species over time
Extinction
The evolutionary termination of a species caused by the failure to reproduce and the death of all remaining members of the species
Fossil record
a historical sequence of life indicated by fossils found in layers of the Earth's crust
Evolutionary fitness
the probability that the line of descent from an individual with a specific trait will survive
Fossil
the remains (or an impression) of a plant or animal that existed in a past geological age and that has been excavated from the soil
Gradualism
a model of evolution in which gradual change over a long period of time leads to biological diversity
Homologous structures
Structures in different species that are similar because of common ancestry.
Kingdoms
a grouping system that divides organisms into 6 major categories
Natural selection
process by which individuals that are better suited to their environment survive and reproduce most successfully; also called survival of the fittest
Offspring
new organisms produced by a living thing
Overproduction
organisms produce more offspring than can survive
Punctuated equilibrium
long periods of stability are interrupted by short episodes of rapid species formation
Species
a group of organisms that are closely related and can mate to produce fertile offspring
Survival of the Fittest
The ones who survive are the ones best adapted to exist in their environment and to on to reproduce.
Theory
A well-tested concept that explains a wide range of observations.
Variation
Different characteristics of the individuals in any one species.