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13 terms

Chapter 15 Vocab

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*evolution
change in a kind of organism over time; process by which modern organisms have descended from ancient organisms
theory
well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations
fossil
preserved remains or evidence of an ancient organism
artificial selection
selection by humans for breeding of useful traits from the natural variation among different organisms
struggle for existence
competition among members of a species for food, living space, and the other necessities of life
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
process by which individuals that are better suited to their environment survive and reproduce most successfully; also called natural selection
*natural selection
process by which individuals that are better suited to their environment survive and reproduce most successfully; also called survival of the fittest
descent with modification
principle that each living species has descended, with changes, from other species over time
*common descent
principle that all living things were derived from common ancestors
homologous structure
structures that have different mature forms in different organisms but develop from the same embryonic tissues
vestigial organ
organ that serves no useful function in an organism