24 terms


Geologic time
earth history
a change over time in the hereditary features (genes) of a species
when an entire group of organisms ceases to exist
when a large era is broken up into smaller units of time
The Fossil Record
all of the fossils ever discovered. It is very incomplete
ancient life
middle life
recent life
any evidence of prehistoric life.
relative dating
comparing rock layers (fossils) and discovering their age
radioactive dating
using the breakdown (decay) of radioactive elements to tell how old an object is
comparative anatomy
comparing the body plans of different organisms
homologous structures
body parts that are similar in different organisms
vestigal organs
body parts that are not used by an organism and are shrinking
the study of embryos (developing embryos)
biochemical similarities
(DNA, proteins, etc) DNA similar in related species ex. chimp DNA 99%=Human DNA
Charles Darwin
English scientist who discovered how the process of evolution works. Was a naturalist for H.M.S. Beagle (5 years, around the world). Made many observations especially in the Galapagos Islands
Darwin's Finches
noticed that finches on different islands had different adaptations to different environment
Natural selection
process by which organisms with favorable traits survive and reproduce at a higher rate than organisms without the favorable trait. The environment determines what is favorable
over production of offspring
biological surplus
variations within species
individuals within a population are different fron one another
struggle to survive
competition; not enough resources (food, water, mates, space,etc) for all members of a population
successful reproduction
because organisms with the advantages will be more likely to survive and reproduce, they will pass on their variations to their offspring