Mechanisms of Evolution Terms
Get down with the lingo
AdaptationSomething that helps a species thrive and survive. This could be a structure, behavior, or process. It's especially helpful when a contestant on Survivor.
Adaptive MutationsMutations that positively influence an organism's survival.
AllelesDifferent variants of a gene, like the King of Hearts and the King of Diamonds.
Allopatric SpeciationWhen two species diverge because of geographic boundaries, like a mountain or a wall.
Bottleneck EffectWhen a population goes through a very difficult time and not everyone makes it out Alive.
CoevolutionWhen u c 2 species evolve 2gether. Possibly due to the fact they are BFFs.
Convergent EvolutionEvolution of two strikingly similar phenotypes in two very different species with no common ancestor. The phenotypes evolved independently.
Directional SelectionSelection for one end of a phenotypic spectrum.
Disruptive SelectionSelection for the two ends of a phenotypic spectrum.
EvolutionA gradual change in genotype that happens over numerous generations that results in a phenotypic change.
FitnessNot the ability to do 50 burpees in one workout session. Related to evolution, it's the ability to survive and reproduce, passing on favorable genotypes to offspring.
Founder EffectWhen a population is started by very few individuals, this effect describes the resulting change on allelic frequencies.
Gene FlowWhen diversity in the gene pool increases due to the exchange of alleles between populations or species as a result of mating.
Gene PoolAll the genes, alleles of those genes, and neon-colored swim noodles in a total population.
Genetic DriftDifferences in an allele's frequency due to random events that change the members of a population.
Genetic EquilibriumWhen allelic frequencies are unchanging.
GenotypesNot the type of denim you prefer. Nature can't tell the difference between boot cut and skinny jeans. A genotype is the genetic composition of a living thing that influences a particular trait or phenotype.
Hardy-Weinberg EquilibriumAssuming no evolution, this equation describes the frequency of a specific allele.
HeritableAble to be passed down to offspring.
MacroevolutionEvolution happening on a large scale in a larger amount of time on many traits.
MicroevolutionEvolution happening on a small scale in a small amount of time on a few traits.
MigrationWhen animals pick up and leave to a new zip code. This is often done regularly, like Snowbirds in Miami Beach.
MutationsA change in the DNA sequence.
Natural SelectionProposed by the man, Charles Darwin. Natural selection is a mechanism of evolution that says traits that are favorable to a population's survival are passed down to their offspring.
PhenotypesWhat you see for a specific trait, which is influenced by both genotype and the environment.
Prezygotic Isolation BarrierMechanisms that prevent different species from mating and producing zygotes.
PolygenicA trait that is influenced by many genes.
PolyploidyMore than two sets of chromosomes (more than diploid).
PopulationA group of organisms that belong to the same species and occur within the same geographic area.
Postzygotic Isolation BarrierMechanisms that prevent the zygotes from different species from surviving, becoming adults, and voting. If they do all these things, then they are likely sterile and unable to produce offspring themselves
Sexual SelectionWhen there is competition for mates, certain traits will be favored. Owning a candy store is always desirable.
SpeciesA group of similar organisms. Members of the same species are able to mate and reproduce. It might be said that Romeo and Juliet should have been two separate species, at least if their parents had anything to do with it.
SpeciationWhen one species turns into two species.
Stabilizing SelectionSelection for the average of the trait, which reduces variety.
Sympatric SpeciationSpeciation not caused by physical isolation.
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