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18 terms

Unit 6 Evolution Vocabulary

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Evolution
change in a kind of organism over time; process by which modern organisms have descended from ancient organisms
Theory
well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations
Fitness
ability of an organism to survive and reproduce in its environment
competition
the struggle between organisms to survive in a habitat with limited resources
species
a group of similar organisms that can breed and produce fertile offspring
mutation
change in a DNA sequence that affects genetic information
fossil
the remains (or an impression) of a plant or animal that existed in a past geological age and that has been excavated from the soil
Origin of species
Darwin's first book about natural selection
Galapagos Islands
Chain of islands near South America where Darwin developed his theory of natural selection by studying the unique life there.
Survival of the fittest
when orgamism fight for food and to live
common ancestor
the shared ancestor of new, different species that arose from one population
fossil record
chronological collection of life's remains in sedimentary rock layers
morphology
the branch of biology that deals with the structure of animals and plants
Charles Darwin
English natural scientist who formulated a theory of evolution by natural selection (1809-1882)
Natural selection
a natural process resulting in the evolution of organisms best adapted to the environment
adaptation
the process of adapting to something (such as environmental conditions)
overproduction
organisms produce more offspring than can survive
genetic variation
The variety of different types of genes in a species or population.