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change in a kind of organism over time; process by which modern organism have descended from ancient organisms


well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations


preserved remains or evidence of an ancient organism

artificial selection

selection by humans for breeding of useful traits from the natural variation among different organisms

struggle for existence

competition among members of a species for food, living space, and the other necessities of life


ability of an organism to survive and reproduce in its environment


inherited characteristic that increases an organism's chance of survival

survival of the fittest

process by which individuals that are better suited to their enviornment survive and reproduce most successfully; also called natural selection

natural selection

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

descent with modification

principle that each living species has descended, with changes, from other species over time

common descent

principle that all living things were derived from common ancestors

homologous structure

structures that have different mature forms in different organisms but develop from the same embryonic tissues

vestigial organ

organ that serves no useful function in an organism

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