Miller & Levine Biology Evolution

change over time; the process by which modern organisms have descended from ancient organisms
Gene Pool
All the genes, including all the different alleles for each gene, that are present in a population at any one time
Allele Frequency
The number of times that an allele occurs in a gene pool compared with the number of alleles in that pool for the same gene
Single-Gene Trait
Trait controlled by one gene that has two alleles
Polygenic Trait
Trait controlled by two or more genes
Directional Selection
Form of natural selection in which individuals at one end of a distribution curve have higher fitness than individuals in the middle or at the end of the curve
Stabilizing Selection
Form of natural selection in which individuals near the center of a distribution curve have higher fitness than individuals at either end of the curve
Disruptive Selection
Natural selection in which individuals at the upper and lower ends of the curve have higher fitness than individuals near the middle of the curve
Genetic Drift
Random change in allele frequency caused by a series of chance occurrences that cause an allele to become more or less common in a population
Bottleneck Effect
A change in allele frequency following a dramatic reduction in the size of a population
Founder Effect
Change in allele frequencies as a result of the migration of a small subgroup of a population
Genetic Equilibrium
Situation in which allele frequencies in a population remain the same
Sexual Selection
When individuals select mates based on heritable traits
A group of similar organisms that can breed and produce fertile offspring
Formation of a new species
Reproductive Isolation
Separation of a species or population so that they no longer interbreed and evolve into two separate species
Behavioral Isolation
Form of reproductive isolation in which two populations develop differences in courtship rituals or other behaviors that prevent them from breeding
Geographic Isolation
Form of reproductive isolation in which two populations are separated by geographic barriers such as rivers, mountains or bodies of water leading to the formation of two separate subspecies
Temporal Isolation
Form of reproductive isolation in which two or more species reproduce at different times
Molecular Clock
Method used by researchers that uses mutation rates in DNA to estimate the length of time that two species have been evolving independently
Artificial selection
Breeding organisms with specific traits in order to produce offspring with identical traits, like breeding bigger cows instead of small cows
heritable characteristic that increases an organism's ability to survive and reproduce in an environment
how well an organism can survive and reproduce in its environment
natural selection
process by which organisms with variations that are most suited to their environment survive and reproduce most successfully; also called survival of the fittest
homologous structure
structures that are shared by related species and that have been inherited from a common ancestor. Example: mammal leg/amphibian leg
Analogous Structure
body parts that share common functions but not structure. Example: wing of bee and wing of bird
Vestigial structure
remnant of a structure that may have had an important function in a species' ancestors, but has no clear function in the modern species. Example: hipbones in dolphins
Adaptive Radiation
where groups of organisms form many new species whose adaptations allow them to fill new or vacant niches in their communities.
an organism's function, it's occupation, where it lives, what other animals it effects.