Heinemann Biology 2 Chapter 10 Key Terms
Terms in this set (51)
absolute dating (using radiometric methods)
A direct quantitative method of determining the age of a rock or object using radioactivity.
A process of rapid evolution and divergence of species from a common ancestor in response to new environmental conditions.
Features (e.g. organ or structure) in different organisms that have the same function but have evolved independently and not from a common ancestor. Analogous features are the result of convergent evolution. Analogous features may evolve because unrelated organisms have experienced similar selective pressures.
A flowering, fruit-bearing plant.
A period of time on Earth between 4000 and 2500 million years ago.
The average rate of natural loss of species.
An area inhabited by a unique set of animals and plants, indicating a common history or environment, for example the Australasian region or neotropical region.
The study of the distribution of species and ecosystems in geographic space and through (geological) time.
A three-dimensional 'sculpture' of an organism formed by materials such as silica or phosphate filling the vacant space in an impression or fossil mould.
The evolution of two species in response to one another such as those between pollinator and flowering plant or between parasite and host.
An organism from which two or more species diverged. Also known as share ancestor.
The branch of embryology that compares embryos of different species to show how animals are related.
The analysis of the body plan and structures of organisms in order to understand the relationships between organisms and their morphological features. It formed the basis of the Linnaean system of biological classification and the study of taxonomy.
The evolution of similar features in unrelated groups of organisms (i.e. they do not share a recent common ancestor). For example, wings in birds and bats look similar and have the same function but evolved independently.
The theory of biological evolution by natural selection developed by Charles Darwin.
The study of the processes by which an organism develops from a zygote to its adult form.
The evolution of two or more different species from a common ancestral species.
The distribution and ecological role of a species in its environment; how it meets its needs for food and shelter, how it survives, and how it reproduces.
Assemblage of soft-bodied animals preserved as fossil impressions in marine sediments from the Proterozoic eon at the close of Precambrian time; found on all continents but named after the Ediacaran Hills, a fossil site in South Australia.
One of several subdivisions of geologic time enabling cross-referencing of rocks and geologic events from place to place. Eons are the largest subdivisions.
One of several subdivisions of geologic time enabling cross-referencing of rocks and geologic events from place to place. Epochs are the smallest subdivisions.
One of several subdivisions of geologic time enabling cross-referencing of rocks and geologic events from place to place. Eons are larger subdivisions than eras; eras may be divided into periods and epochs.
The preserved remains, impressions or traces of organisms found in rocks, amber (fossilised tree sap), ice or soil.
The record of the evolution of organisms through geological time based on information from fossils.
The process of preservation of the hardened remains, impressions or traces of organisms in rocks.
geological time scale
Time scale of events that have occurred on Earth from its formation to the present time.
A super-continent of the past that formed when the process of plate tectonics united the land masses of the Southern Hemisphere and included present-day Africa, Madagascar, India, Australia, Antarctica and South America.
The earliest time in the history of the Earth from its formation (around 4600 million years ago) until the date of the oldest known rocks (about 3800 million years ago).
Structures that have a common evolutionary origin, which is evident in the underlying fundamental similarities in their structure. Homologous features are found in different organisms and may have evolved different functions (e.g. a human hand and a bat wing) as a result of divergent evolution from a common ancestor. DNA sequences or proteins can also be homologous.
A type of fossil where the impression of the external or internal surface of the organism is preserved.
A fossil that is used to define and identify geologic periods.
One or two or more atoms that have the same atomic number (the same number of protons) but a different number of neutrons; for example, carbon-12 and carbon-14.
A super-continent of the past formed by the land masses of the Northern Hemisphere near the end of the Palaeozoic era.
A subclass of mammals characterised by a pouch for carrying the young, which are born immature and complete their development in the pouch.
Large-scale worldwide extinctions evident in the fossil record and caused by major disruptive changes to global climate and the shifting of continents.
mineralisation (or petrification)
A process of fossilisation in which minerals replace the spaces in the structures of organisms such as bones.
Fossil in which minerals replace the spaces in the structure of the organism such as bone. Minerals may eventually replace the entire organism, leaving a replica of the original fossil.
A type of fossil in which the organism is fully preserved and may include features such as skin, fur and organs.
A person who is an expert or interested in botany or zoology (the natural world), especially in the field.
The study of ancient life preserved as fossils in rocks and ancient sediments.
The super-continent of enormous land mass that formed when Laurasia (northern land mass) united by the end of the Palaeozoic (225 million years ago).
One of several subdivisions of geological time enabling cross-referencing of rocks and geologic events from place to place. Eons and eras are larger subdivisions than periods while periods themselves may be divided into epochs.
The earliest time of Earth history, the geological era from 4.6 billion to 541 million years ago, from the time that the Earth's crust formed, including the oldest fossils of prokaryotic life (sometime between 3.8 billion to 4.1 billion years old), up to the time of the oldest fossils of marine animals (541 million years old).
Latter part of the Precambrian era, from about 2.5 billion to 541 million years ago, characterised by the appearance of prokaryotes (bacteria), marine algae and the first animals.
Method of dating geological deposits based on the relative order of layers (strata) and, if present, the fossils within those layers. It is assumed that the deepest layer is the oldest and the uppermost layer is the youngest.
The study of the relative positions of layers of rock (strata), some of which contain fossils. The lowest stratum is the oldest and upper strata are progressively younger.
A layered rock that forms when certain marine prokaryotes bind thin films of sediment together; includes fossil and present-day rocks.
The study of the form and structure of organisms.
A vertebrate (which includes amphibians, reptiles and mammals) with four limbs. Animals that had four-limbed ancestors (e.g. snakes and whales) are also known as tetrapods.
trace fossil (ichnofossil)
Preserved evidence of an animal's activity or behaviour, such as footprints, without containing parts of the organism.
A remnant structure of an organism that has lost all or most of its original function in the course of evolution.