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Galapagos Archipelago

Off Ecuador's coast. Finches influence on Darwin's theory of Evolution.

Reproductive Success

the number of offspring an individual produces and rears to reproductive age; an individual's genetic contribution to the next generation

Gene Pool

consists of all genes, including all the different alleles, that are present in a population


having two different alleles for a trait

Natural Selection

process by which individuals that are better suited to their environment survive and reproduce most successfully; also called survival of the fittest

Gene Frequency

how often a particular gene occurs in the population


term used to refer to an organism that has two identical alleles for a particular trait


ability of an individual to survive and reproduce in its specific environment


a small, particular part of a habitat in which particular organisms live; for example, beneath the bark of a tree within a forest habitat


describes a trait that covers over, or dominates, another form of that trait


generation-to-generation change in the proportion of different inherited genes in a population that account for all of the changes that have transformed life over an immense time


the degree to which a developing structure or behavior is modifiable due to experience


allele that is not expressed unless two copies are present in an organism's genotype


The physical traits that appear in an individual as a result of its gentic make up.


adaptation to a new climate (a new temperature or altitude or environment)


When both phenotypes appear in heterozygous individuals; Examples: Blood type A crossd with B = type AB

Life History

The series of events from birth through reproduction and death

Evolutionary trade-off

E.G. trade of between present and future reproduction versus: fecundity, growth, adult longevity, and survival. - the belief that evolutionary change is modulated and constrained by such trade-offs is a central pillar of evolutionary thought - the existence of trade-offs is not disputed, but there is little understanding of how trade-offs evolve, or indeed if they can evolve.


the process of choosing which needs will be satisfied and how much of our resources we will use to satisfy them


Able to reproduce/ first reproduction


The state of having given birth to an infant or infants, alive or dead.


A measure of the number of children that it is biologically possible for a female to produce.


the gradual decline in the body's ability to maintain and restore homeostasis

Reaction Norm

The relationship between the phenotype of an individual with a particular genotype and conditions in that individual's environment. Example: Caterpillars of the swallowtail butterfly Papilio canadenis grow faster at higher temperatures. The relationship between temperature and the individual's growth rate describes the reaction norm of growth rate with respect to temperature for that individual.


the process by which the number of chromosomes is reduced by half to form sex cells

Cost of meiosis

The cost of breaking up a potentially well-adapted genome. Due to two haploids coming together, one from male other from female., refers to the fact that in sexual reproduction, offspring are only one half related to each parent.


an organism or cell having two sets of chromosomes


reproductive cells, have only half the number of chromosomes as body cells


term used to refer to a cell that contains only a single set of chromosomes and therefore only a single set of genes


the fertilized egg; it enters a 2-week period of rapid cell division and develops into an embryo

Sexual Reproduction

process in which genetic material from two parents combines and produces offspring that differ genetically from either parent

Red Queen Hypothesis

each species has to run (evolve) as fast as possible just to stay in place -- because predators, competitors, and parasites also continue to evolve

Asexual reproduction

reproduction that does not involve the union of gametes and in which a single parent produces offspring that are genetically identical to the parent

Sexual Selection

the preferential choice of a mate based on a specific phenotypic trait


an organism that is genetically identical to the organism from which it was produced

Mating Systems

the behavioral mechanisms involved in the acquiring of a mate. incudes: the # of mates, the manner they are acquired, the extent of the pair bonding, and the parental care given by each mate, types of this are male polygamy, monogamy and female polygamy,


specific area occupied and protected by an animal or group of animals

Game Theory

An approach the evaluation alternative strategies in situations where the outcome depends not only on each individual's strategy but also on the strategies of other individuals; a way of thinking about behavioral evolution in situations where the fitness of a particular behavioral phenotype is influences by other behavioral phenotypes in the population.

Dominance Hierarchy

form of social ranking within a group in which some individuals are more subordinate than others

Kin selection

the idea that evolution has selected altruism toward one's close relatives to enhance the survival of mutually shared genes

Evolutionarily stable strategy

a strategy such that, if all members of a population adopt it, no alternative strategy can invade the population


unselfish regard for the welfare of others

Mixed strategy

Either type of individual (hawks vs doves) can increase in frequency when it is rare, thereby keeping both in the game.


a group of organisms of the same species populating a given area


the movement of individuals away from their area of origin or from centers of high population density


the study of patterns in the sizes of the geographic ranges of populations and in the densities and distributions of individuals within those ranges

Population Size

The number of individuals in a population.

Dispersion Patterns

How organisms are spaced in their environment.


Individuals of a species that live in a habitat patch.


the periodic passage of groups of animals (especially birds or fishes) from one region to another for feeding or breeding


the spatial property of being scattered about over an area or volume

Ideal Free Distribution

animals disperse to equalize energy intake or reproductive success

Geographic Range

area that encompasses the entire distribution of a species, typically limited by environmental conditions

Habitat Matrix

Represents unsuitable habitat; the "space" in a spatial structure model which acts as a barrier for individuals who travel between patches of suitable habitat.

Spatial Structure

The part of population structure that deals with the density and spacing of individuals.

Source Population

A population that has a surplus of individuals that are able to emigrate to other areas, more offspring produced than can coexist.

Fundamental Niche

The full potential range of the physical, chemical, and biological factors a species can use if there is no competition from other species.

Sink Population

A population that relies on immigration, fewer offspring produced than can coexist (numbers decline)

Realized Niche

the range of resources and conditions a species actually uses or can tolerate at optimal efficiency; smaller than fundamental niche, actual niche

Neighborhood Size

the # of indivduals in a pop included within a circle whose radius is the lifetime dispersal distance of an average individual

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