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25 Cards in this Set

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What are Fossils?
traces of organisms that existed in the past.
What is the theory of catastrophism?
states that natural disaster such as floods and volcanic eruptions have happened often during Earth's long history.
What is the principle of gradualism?
States that landforms resulted from slow changes over time.
What is the theory of uniformitarianism?
States that geologic processes that shaped earth are uniform through time.
What is variation?
The difference in the physical traits of an imndiviual form those of other individuals in the group to which it belongs.
What is adaptation?
A feature that allows an organism to better survive in its enviroment.
What is the variation among member of DIFFERENT species called?
Interspecific
What is the variation among member of the SAME species called?
intraspecific
What lead Darwin to believe that the Earth was much older the 6000 years due to fossil organisms?
The fossils were specific evidence of species changing over time.
How did Darwin apply insights of geological changes to the evolution of organisms?
Geologic changes can effect changes in species over a long period of time.
What is aritficial selection?
The process by which humans change a species by breeding it for certain traits.
What is heritability?
The ability of a trait to be passed down form one generation to the next.
What is natural selection?
A mechanism by which individuals have inherited beneficial adaptations, produce more offspring on average than do other individuals.
What is population?
All the individuals of a species that live in an area.
What is fitness?
A measure of the ability to survive and produce more offspring relative to other members of the population in a given enviroment.
Why did artificial selection interest Darwin?
Animals in captivity have a lot more diversity than animals in the wild. A lot more diversity can be produced in captivity.
In natural selection, what must be ttrue of the traits that are passed down through generations?
They have to help the animal to survive.
What is biogeography?
The study of the distribution of organisms around the world.
What are homologous structures?
Features that are similar in a structure but appear different in different organisms and have different functions. (human hand vs. bat wing)
What are analogous structures?
Structures that perform a similar function but are NOT similar in origin. (Bat wing vs. insect wing)
What are vestigial structures?
Remnants of organs or structures that HAD a function in an early ancestor. ( Pelvic bones in snakes, appendix in humans, wings of ostriches0
What is paleontology?
The study of fossils or extinct organisms, continues to proviede new information and support current hypotheses.
Why is the fossil record not complete?
Most living things don't form fossils when they die.
What are transitional species?
one example is a whale like body with limbs of land animals.
How does paleontology contribute to evolutionary biology?
Shows similar bone structure and other aspects that could help find a common ancestor.