13 terms

Miller Levine Biology (Evolution)

Chapter 15: Darwin's Theory of Evolution
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evolution
change over time, or the process by which modern organisms have descended from ancient organisms
theory
a well-supported testable explanation of phenomena that have occurred in the natural world
fossils
preserved remains of ancient organisms
artificial selection
selection by humans for breeding of useful traits from the natural variation among different organisms
struggle for existence
members of each species compete regularly to obtain food, living space, and other necessities of life
fitness
the ability of an individual to survive and reproduce in its specific environment
adaptation
any inherited characteristic that increases an organism's chance of survival
survival of the fittest
process by which individuals that are better suited for their environment survive and reproduce more successfully; also called natural selection
natural selection
process by which individuals that are better suited for their environment survive and reproduce more successfully; also called survival of the fittest
descent with modification
the principle which states that each living species has descended, with changes, from other species over time
common descent
the principle which states that all species, living and extinct, were derived from common ancestors
homologous structures
structures that have different forms but develop from the same embryonic tissue
vestigial organs
organs that serve no useful function in an organism