16 terms

Evolution

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evolution
Change in the genetic makeup of a population over time
adaptation
A characteristic that improves an individual's ability to survive and reproduce in a particular environment.
population
A group of individuals that belong to the same species and live in the same area
species
A group of similar organisms that can breed and produce fertile offspring.
overproduction
more organisms are born than the environment can support
variation
organisms express slight phenotypical differences due to sexual reproduction and mutations.
competition
when two or more organisms strive for the same goal but only one can obtain it (food, resources, etc.)
natural selection
A process in which individuals that have certain inherited traits tend to survive and reproduce at higher rates than other individuals because of those traits.
survival of the fittest
Process by which individuals that are better suited to their environment survive and reproduce most successfully; also called natural selection
speciation
An evolutionary process in which one species splits into two or more species.
homologous structures
Anatomically similar structures inherited from a common ancestor that serve different functions (cat's leg / dolphin flipper)
analogous structures
Structures of different species having similar function but not from the same evolutionary origin. This is due to similar environmental pressures
vestigial structures
remnant of a structure that may have had an important function in a species' ancestors, but has no clear function in the modern species.
microevolution
Change in allele frequencies in a population over generations. (ex. change in color/size)
macroevolution
Changes significant enough in allele frequencies to create new species.
Weismann
cut the tails off of mice & proved that acquired characteristics were NOT inherited
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