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13 terms

Evolutionary Theories and Processes

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extinction
the process through which a species disappears from Earth
mass extinction
this occurs when large numbers of species die out in a fairly short period of time.
evolution
a process of change over time
natural selection
theory by Charles Darwin that explains how populations evolve into new species
adaptation
a trait that improves an organism's chance for survival and reproduction
continental drift
idea suggested by Alfred Wegener that states that a giant landmass known as Pangaea gradually split apart and the continents moved to their present location.
theory of plate tectonics
states that the Earth's lithosphere (land), is broken into large sections called tectonic plates that move and change position over time.
lithosphere
this word means land
tectonic plates
land that is broken into large sections
asthenosphere
a dense molten layer of Earth that tectonic plates float on
convergent boundary
when tectonic push together causing the land to rise
divergent boundary
when tectonic plates are pulled apart. These ocean plates create new seafloor and undersea mountains called mid-ocean ridges. These boundaries on land can produce volcanoes.
transform boundary
when tectonic plates slide past each other. These boundaries cause earthquakes.