Evolutionary Biology - High School

If you need to learn about evolution, you'll naturally want to select this list of terms related to evolutionary biology. Review heredity, adaptation, extinction, and more. When it comes to vocabulary success, it's survival of the fittest — but this list is sure to give you an advantage over the competition.

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definitions & notes only words
  1. acquired
    gotten through environmental forces
  2. adaptation
    the process of adjusting or conforming to new conditions
  3. adaptive radiation
    the development of many different forms from an originally homogeneous group of organisms as they fill different ecological niches
  4. allopatric
    occurring in areas isolated geographically from one another
  5. analogous
    corresponding in function but not in evolutionary origin
  6. anatomy
    the study of the structure of animals
  7. atavism
    a reappearance of an earlier characteristic
  8. biodiversity
    the variety of plant and animal life in a habitat
  9. biogeography
    the study of the distribution of animals and plants
  10. camouflage
    exploit the natural surroundings to disguise something
  11. Charles Darwin
    English natural scientist who formulated a theory of evolution by natural selection (1809-1882)
  12. cladogram
    a tree diagram used to illustrate phylogenetic relationships
  13. comparative anatomy
    the study of anatomical features of animals of different species
  14. competition
    the act of contending with others for rewards or resources
  15. diversity
    noticeable variety
  16. DNA
    a long linear polymer found in the nucleus of a cell
  17. evolution
    sequence of events involved in the development of a species
  18. extinction
    the state of being no longer in existence
  19. fossil
    the remains of a plant or animal from a past geological age
  20. generation
    group of genetically related organisms in a line of descent
  21. genotype
    the alleles at specified loci present in an organism
  22. habitat
    the type of environment in which an organism normally lives
  23. heredity
    the transmission of genetic factors to the next generation
  24. homologous
    having the same evolutionary origin
  25. homology
    the quality of being similar or corresponding in position or value or structure or function
  26. inherit
    receive by genetic transmission
  27. inherited
    occurring among members of a family usually by heredity
  28. isolation
    the act of setting something apart from others
  29. Jean Baptiste de Lamarck
    French naturalist who proposed that evolution resulted from the inheritance of acquired characteristics (1744-1829)
  30. macroevolution
    evolution on a large scale extending over geologic era and resulting in the formation of new taxonomic groups
  31. microevolution
    evolution resulting from small specific genetic changes that can lead to a new subspecies
  32. mimicry
    the resemblance of an animal species to another species
  33. morphology
    the study of the structure of animals and plants
  34. natural selection
    a process in which organisms evolve to adapt to environment
  35. niche
    status of an organism within its environment and community
  36. overproduction
    too much production or more than expected
  37. phenotype
    what an organism looks like
  38. phylogeny
    evolutionary development of a species or group of organisms
  39. polygenic
    of or relating to an inheritable character that is controlled by several genes at once; of or related to or determined by polygenes
  40. population
    a group of organisms of the same species inhabiting an area
  41. punctuated equilibrium
    a theory of evolution holding that evolutionary change in the fossil record came in fits and starts rather than in a steady process of slow change
  42. speciation
    the evolution of a biological species
  43. species
    taxonomic group whose members can interbreed
  44. stratum
    one of several parallel layers of material
  45. survival of the fittest
    a natural process resulting in the evolution of organisms best adapted to the environment
  46. sympatric
    occurring in the same or overlapping geographical areas
  47. taxonomy
    a classification of organisms based on similarities
  48. theory
    a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the world
  49. theory of evolution
    (biology) a scientific theory of the origin of species of plants and animals
  50. variation
    the process of being or becoming different
  51. vestigial
    not fully developed in mature animals
Created on February 5, 2017 (updated April 4, 2017)

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