Chapter 16 - Evolution Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 16 - Evolution Deck (18):
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Biogeography

Study of patterns in the geographic distribution of species and communities

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Comparative morphology

Study of body plans and structures among groups of organisms

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Fossil

Physical evidence of an organism that lives in the ancient past

3

Naturalis

Person who observed life from a scientific perspecfive

4

Catastrophism

Now-abandoned hypothesis that catastrophic geological forces unlike those if the present day shaped Earth's surface

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Evolution

Change in a line of descent

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Lineage

Line of descent

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Theory of uniformity

Idea that gradual repetitive processes occurring over long time spans shapes Earth's surface.

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Adaptation (adaptive trait)

A heritable trait that enhances ab individual's fitness in a particular enviornment

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Artificial selection

Process whereby humans choose traits they favor in a domestic species by selective breeding.

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Fitness

Degree of adaptation to an environment, as measured by an individual's relative generic contributions to future generations.

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Natural selection

A process in which environmental pressures result in the differential survival and reproduction if individuals of a population who vary in the details of shared, heritable traits.

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Half-life

Characteristic time it takes for half a quantity of a radioisotope to decay

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Radiometric dating

Method estimating the age of a rock or fossil by measuring the content and proportions of a radioisotope and its daughter elements

14

Gondwana

Supercontinent that existed before Pangea, more than 500 million years ago.

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Pangea

Supercontinent that formed about 200 million years ago

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Plate tectonica

Theory that Earth's outer layer of rock is cracked into plates, the slow movement of which rafts continents to new locations over geological time.

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Geologic time scale

Chronology of earth's history