Evolution Vocab List


Evolution Vocab List


Evolution- The process by which living things have changed over time 2.

Extinct species- a species that no longer exists anywhere on earth 3.

Classification/taxonomy- biological classification is a system which is used to organize and codify all life on Earth. 4.

Natural selection- the process by which forms of life having traits that better enable them to adapt to specific environmental pressures. 5.

Speciation- the formation of new species as a result of geographic, physiological, anatomical, or behavioral factors that prevent previously interbreeding populations from breeding with each other. 6.

Adaptation- when an organism becomes better fitted to survive and multiply in its environment. 7.

DNA- deoxyribonucleic acid: an extremely long macromolecule that is the main component of chromosomes and is the material that transfers genetic characteristics in all life forms 8.

Genetic diversity- the level of biodiversity, refers to the total number of genetic characteristics in the genetic makeup of a species. 9.

Phenotype- is an organisms observable characteristics which are influenced both by its genotype and by the environment. 10.

Genotype- is the set of genes that it carries.


Niche- includes both the animals or plants physical habitat and how it has adapted to life in that habitat. 12.

Mutation- A mutation occurs when a DNA gene is damaged or changed in such a way as to alter the genetic message carried by that gene. 13.

Gene: A segment of DNA that codes for a particular protein. 14.

Gene pool: All the genes of all the members in a population. 15.

Selective pressure: Any environmental factor that favors one trait over another. 16.

Species: Any group of organisms, the members of which successfully breed with each other, producing healthy, fertile offspring. 17.

Genetic isolation: What occurs when two groups of one species are prevented from breeding with each other. 18.

Inherited trait: An inherited characteristic—such as hair and eye color or muscle and bone structure—that has been passed on from a previous generation. 19.

Acquired trait: An acquired characteristic—such as the ability to ride a bike or do karate— that is attained throughout life. Acquired traits are not passed on genetically.