Keywords

–          Adapted – an organism that has characteristics that in a given environment provide higher survival and /or reproductive success (i.e. the production of more offspring).

–          Characteristic – is a feature or quality belonging to an organism i.e. beak shape, number of legs, fur colour, etc.

–         Common ancestor – refers to an extinct organism that is the ancestor of two different living species.

–         Diverge – to go in a different direction from a common point. To evolve in different directions.

–          Evolution – changes in the characteristics of a type of organisms over time. For example, the size of dogs has changed over time due to the action of breeders that have selected larger or smaller parents to breed.

–         Evolutionary tree – is a branching diagram  or “tree” showing the inferred relationships among various biological species.

–          Extinction – when there are no-longer any living members of a species.

–         Fossils – are the preserved remains or traces of animals, plants, and other organisms from the remote past.

–          Generation – birth group. All those born in a certain time period.

–          Habitat – the natural home or environment of an animal or plant.

–          Mutations –  a rare, but random, change in the genetic material that affects the expression of a characteristic.

–          Natural selection –the differential survival of different forms of the same organism due to environmental pressures.

–          Offspring – an organism’s children.

–         Palaeontologist – someone who studies fossils.

–         Population – a group of animals all in one place.

–         Pentadactyl limb – limb with five digits and a specific bone structure (humerus, ulna and radius, wrist bones and five digits).

–          Variation – difference in the size, colour, presence etc of a trait/characteristic within a species/population.

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