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*Evolution (Changes Over Time)

Ch. 5 Prentice Hall Science Explorer Cells & Heredity

speciesA group of similar organisms that can mate with each other and produce fertile offspring
fossilThe preserved remains or traces of an organism that lived in the past
adaptationA trait that helps an organism survive and reproduce
evolutionThe gradual change in a species over time
scientific theoryA well-tested concept that explains a wide range of observations
natural selectionIndividuals that are better adapted to their environment are more likely to survive and reproduce than other members of the species
variationAny difference between individuals of the same species
homologous structuresBody parts that are structurally similar in related species; evidence of common ancestry
branching treeA diagram that shows how scientists think different groups of organisms are related
petrified fossilA fossil formed when minerals replace all or part of an organism
moldA type of fossil formed when a shell or other hard part of an organism dissolves, leaving an empty space in the shape of the part
castA type of fossil that forms when a mold becomes filled in with minerals that then harden
relative datingA technique used to determine which of two fossils is older
radioactive datingA technique used to determine the actual age of a fossil on the basis of the amount of a radioactive element it contains
radioactive elementAn unstable element that breaks down into a different element
half-lifeThe time it takes for half of the atoms in a radioactive element to break down
fossil recordThe millions of fossils that scientists have collected
extinctTerm used to indicate a species that does not have any living members
gradualismThe theory that evolution occurs slowly but steadily
punctuated equilibriaThe theory that species evolve during short periods of rapid change

Science Teacher
Damascus Middle School

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