11 terms

Evolution

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Terms in this set (...)

Adaptation
A changed characteristic that improves an organism's ability to survive in an environment
Species
A group of organisms that are closely related and can mate to produce offspring
Evolution
The process in which inherited characteristics within a population change over generations
Fossil Record
A historical sequence of life determined by fossils found in sedimentary rock layers of the Earth's crust
Charles Darwin
A British naturalist who developed the theory on natural selection and wrote On the Origin of Species
Natural Selection
The process in which organisms that are best adapted to their environment survive and reproduce most successfully
Inherited Variation
Individuals within a population have slightly different traits
Speciation
The formation of a new species as a result of evolution
Punctuated Equilibrium
Theory that describes rapid evolution that occurs in "spurts" because of mutations that may benefit a species or rapid changes in an environment.
Gradualism
Theory describing evolution as a slow process when one species changes into a new species because of small variations over time
Generation Time
The average time between one generation and the next