15 Vocab dcs 2016

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Adaptation : a trait that increases the chances that an organism will survive and reproduce

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Charles Darwin : was a naturalist who theorized that all species of life have evolved over time from common ancestors through the process he called natural selection.

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Descent with modification : Descent with modification refers to the passing on of traits from parent organisms to their offspring. This passing on of traits is known as heredity, and the basic unit of heredity is the gene. 

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Evolution : the change in population of a species over time.

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Extinction : The evolutionary termination of a species caused by the failure to reproduce and the death of all remaining members of the species; the natural failure to adapt to environmental change .

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Fitness: The relative ability of an  individual (or population) to survive , reproduce and propagate  genes in an environment.

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Fossil : evidence of past life preserved in rock.

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Galapagos Islands A group of islands in the Pacific off south America; owned by Ecuador; known for unusual  animal life . A  place made famous in biology  by Charles   Darwin  and his  theory of   evolution .

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HMS Beagle was a Royal Navy ship from England on which Charles Darwin gathered the natural specimens he used to develop his theory of evolution.

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Homologous Structure: A physical characteristic in different organisms that is similar because it was inherited from a common ancestor.

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Natural selection : survival of the fittest o rganisms that are the best adapted to their environment and the ones that will live long enough to reproduce and pass on their favorable adaptations

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Selective Breeding: The process of breeding organisms that results on offspring with desired genetic traits.

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Species : the most specific classification of living things

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Theory : an explanation that ties together many hypothesis and observations .

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Variation : Any difference between cells, individual organisms, or groups of organisms of any species caused either by genetic differences (genotypic  variation ) or by the effect of environmental factors on the expression of the genetic potentials (phenotypic  variation ).

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Vestigial Structure: A physical characteristic in organisms that appears to have lost its original function as a species has changed over time.

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