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Ch 19 Biology in Focus

Adapted from: Urry, L., Cain, M., Wasserman, S., Minorsky, P., Jackson, R., & Reece, J. (2014). Campbell biology in focus. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc. (ISBN# 0321813804)
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Adaptation
Inherited characteristic of an organism that enhances its survival and reproduction in specific environments.
Analogous
Having characteristics that are similar because of convergent evolution, not homology.
Artificial selection
The selective breeding of domesticated plants and animals to encourage the occurrence of desirable traits.
Biogeography
The study of the past and present distribution of species.
Catastrophism
The principle that events in the past occurred suddenly and were caused by different mechanisms than those operating today. See uniformitarianism.
Continental drift
The slow movement of the continental plates across Earth's surface.
Convergent evolution
The evolution of similar features in independent evolutionary lineages.
Endemic
Referring to a species that is confined to a specific, relatively small geographic area.
Evolution
Descent with modification; the idea that living species are descendants of ancestral species that were different from the present-day ones; also defined more narrowly as the change in the genetic composition of a population from generation to generation.
Evolutionary tree
A branching diagram that reflects a hypothesis about evolutionary relationships among groups of organisms.
Fossil
A preserved remnant or impression of an organism that lived in the past.
Homologous structures
Structures in different species that are similar because of common ancestry.
Homology
Similarity in characteristics resulting from a shared ancestry.
Natural selection
A process in which organisms with certain inherited characteristics are more likely to survive and reproduce than are organisms with other characteristics.
Paleontology
The scientific study of fossils.
Pangaea
The supercontinent that formed near the end of the Paleozoic era, when plate movements brought all the landmasses of Earth together.
Stratum
A rock layer formed when new layers of sediment cover older ones and compress them.
Uniformitarianism
The principle stating that mechanisms of change are constant over time. See catastrophism.
Vestigial structure
A structure of marginal, if any, importance to an organism. Vestigial structures are historical remnants of structures that had important functions in ancestors.