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biological species concept

definition of a species as a population or group of populations whose members can breed with one another in nature and produce fertile offspring


major biological changes evident in the fossil record


formation of new species

reproductive isolation

condition in which a reproduction barrier keeps two species from interbreeding

geographic isolation

separation of populations as a result of geographic change or migration to geographically isolated places

adaptive radiation

evolution from a common ancestor of many species adapted to diverse envrioments

punctuated equilibrium

evolutionary model suggesting species often diverge in spurts of relatively rapid change, followed by long periods of little change


study of multicellular organism as they develop from fertillized eggs to fully formed organisms

geologic time scale

Earth's history organized into four eras: Precambrian, Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic

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