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APES Chapter 5 Vocab for Rissberger's class at CHHS

chemical evolution

The theory that simple chemical compounds in the ancient atmosphere and ocean combined by spontaneous chemical reactions to form larger, more complex substances, eventually leading to the origin of life and the start of biological evolution.


..., large-scale evolutionary changes that take place over long periods of time

hydrothermal vents

..., geysers on the seafloor, created where tectonic plates move apart, spewing hot and mineral-rich water into cold ocean depths

genetic variability

The different kinds of genetic information found in a particular group - family, population, species, etc.


..., nonliving structures that are believed to have evolved into prokaryotes

gene pool

..., all of the alleles in all the individuals that make up a population


..., the perserved trace, imprint, or remains of a plant or animal


..., different forms of a gene

biological evolution

..., Changes in the genetic composition of a population through successive generations.


..., change in a DNA sequence that affects genetic information


..., the gradual change in a species over time

natural selection

..., process by which individuals that are better suited to their environment survive and reproduce most successfully; also called survival of the fittest

theory of evolution

..., This theory stated that animals could evolve from other animals in order to adapt to their environments. This theory was not widely accepted for it could possibly account for humans which would defeat the whole purpose of creationism

gene flow

..., movement of alleles into or out of a population due to the migration of individuals to or from the population


..., evolution on the smallest scale—a generation-to-generation change in the frequencies of alleles within a population

genetic drift

..., change in the gene pool of a population due to chance

generalist species

..., Species with a broad ecological niche. They can live in many different places, eat a variety of foods, and tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions. Examples are flies, cockroaches, mice, rats, and human beings.


..., A chemical or physical agent that interacts with DNA and causes a mutation.

specialist species

..., Species with a narrow ecological niche. They may be able to live in only one type of habitat, tolerate only a narrow range of climatic and other environmental conditions, or use only one type or a few types of food.


..., The process by which a new species evolves from a prior species, the most basic process in macroevolution.

differential reproduction

..., Phenomenon in which individuals with adaptive genetic traits produce more living offspring than do individuals without such traits.

geographic isolation

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


..., inherited characteristic that increases an organism's chance of survival

reproductive isolation

..., separation of species that prevents them from interbreeding and producing fertile offspring

adaptive trait

..., any heritable trait that enables an organism to survive through natural selections and reproduce better under prevailing environmental conditions


..., the act of moving away in different direction from a common point

directional natural selection

..., Selection that causes a shift in allele frequency such that one more more alleles become more common over time.

divergent evolution

..., when two or more species sharing a common ancestor become more different over time

stabilizing natural selection

..., a population of organisms shift towards the average trait. This is the most common form of natural selection.


..., no longer in existence

diversifying natural selection

..., Enviromental conditions favor individuals at both extremes, reduces the individual with normal traits

background extinction

..., normal extinction of various species as a result of changes in local environmental conditions


..., The evolution of two or more species that is due to mutual influence, often in a way that makes the relationship more mutually beneficial

mass extinction

..., An episode during which large numbers of species become extinct

ecological niche

..., A specific role of a species within an ecosystem, including its use of resources, and relationships with other species.

adaptive radiations

..., periods of evolutionary change in which groups of organisms form many new species whose adaptations allow them to fill different ecological roles, or niches, in their communities


..., (ecology) the status of an organism within its environment and community (affecting its survival as a species)

gradualist model of evolution

..., changes evolve little by little in populations and species become adapt to environments


..., the type of environment in which an organism or group normally lives or occurs

punctuated equilibrium hypothesis

..., Theory that suggests that new kinds of organisms arise as a result of drastic environmental changes, which cause drastic genetic changes.

fundamental niche

..., the full range of conditions that a species can tolerate and resources it can use


..., ability of an organism to survive and reproduce in its environment

realized niche

..., when a species occupies a smaller niche than it would in the absence of competition.


..., the diversity of plant and animal life in a particular habitat (or in the world as a whole)

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