Evolution Unit Study Guide Vocabulary Naji Hall

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Adaptation
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Process by which an animal or plant species becomes fitted to its environment.
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Analogous Structure
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Structures of different species having similar or corresponding function but not from the same evolutionary origin.
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Allele
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Any of several forms of a gene.
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Common Descent
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The scientific theory that all living organisms on Earth descended from a common ancestor.
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Camouflage
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Structural adaptation that enables species to blend with their surroundings.
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Convergent Evolution
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The process whereby organisms not closely related, independently evolve similar traits as a result of having to adapt to similar environments or ecological niches.
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Embryology
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The science dealing with the formation, development, structure, and functional activities of embryos.
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Evolution
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The change in genetic composition of a population over successive generations.
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Extinction
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The death of an entire species.
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Fitness
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How good a particular genotype is at leaving offspring in the next generation relative to how good other genotypes are at it.
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Fossil
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Any preserved evidence of life from a past geological age.
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Gene Pool
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The set of all genes, or genetic information, in any population, usually of a particular species.
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Genetic Drift
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The change in the frequency of a gene variant in a population due to random sampling of organisms.
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Inherited Trait
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The transmission of an epigenetic trait in a living organism by a self-perpetuating spatial structures.
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Homologous Structure
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Structures derived from a common ancestor or same evolutionary or developmental origin.
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Macroevolution
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Major evolutionary transition from one type of organism to another.
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Microevolution
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Evolutionary change within a species or small group of organisms, especially over a short period.
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Mimicry
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The close external resemblance of an animal or plant to another animal, plant, or inanimate object.
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Mutation
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Occurs when a DNA gene is damaged or changed in such a way as to alter the genetic message carried by that gene.
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Natural Selection
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The gradual process by which heritable biological traits become either more or less common in a population as a function of the effect of inherited traits on the differential reproductive success of organisms interacting with their environment.
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Phenotype
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The physical appearance of an organism as distinguished from its genetic makeup.
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Predation
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A biological interaction where a predator feeds on its prey.
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Protective Covering
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A covering that is intend to protect from damage or injury.
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Sexual Selection
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A special type of natural selection in which the sexes acquire distinct forms either because the members of one sex choose mates with particular features.
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Variation
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Any difference between cells, individual organisms, or groups of organisms of any species caused either by genetic differences.
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Vestigial Structure
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An anatomical feature that no longer seems to have a purpose in the current form of an organism of the given species.
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Warning Coloration
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A bold, distinctive pattern of color characteristic of a poisonous or unpalatable organism.

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