208definitions-2009 - Definitions Physical Anthropology...

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Definitions Physical Anthropology study of comparative anatomy of apes and humans including the lower primates and fossil hominids. Archaeology study of past material culture (artifacts) and its associated environmental and residual information to explain the origin, nature and development of past human lifeways. Genes are distinct units of the chromosomes in cell nuclei, which control the coding and inheritance of physical traits. Gene Pool all genes of a population at a given time. Genotype genetic makeup of a living thing (plant or animal) that contains all information in the organism's genes. Phenotype the observable characteristics of a plant or animal (as opposed to genotype) including internal and external characteristics. Trait one aspect of a phenotype. Mutation occurs at random in a population when chromosomal aberrations (in number or structure) create new genetic material in a population. The mutation can be a chromosome break, a duplication of genetic material, or translocation or reversal of genetic material on the chromosome. Mutations provide the variability for natural selection to take place, giving rise to new genetic material. A macromutation is one which causes a key shift in the evolution of a species. Evolution alteration of gene frequencies or the alteration of the proportion in which different genes occur in a given species, as a result of natural selection. Evolution constitutes change that is continuous and ordered. Species group of interbreeding natural populations that are reproductively isolated from other such groups, producing viable fertile offspring. Natural Selection a process which operates on accumulated variations and on chance. It relates to selection pressure whereby undesirable (maladaptive) physical traits are eventually eliminated from the gene pool. Through natural selection differential reproductive rates in the population occur so that better adapted individuals contribute more to the next generation than less well adapted individuals. Selective pressure is involved when the environment in which a species lives sets the conditions (e.g. climatic, vegetative, etc.) under which that species must live. As the environment changes, these conditions change as well, imposing new conditions under which a species must live. If individual species have traits that are well-adapted to the new environment, they will survive and reproduce. The less well-adapted species face increased competition, lower reproductive rates, and possible
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This note was uploaded on 12/13/2010 for the course ANTH 208 taught by Professor Wall during the Fall '08 term at Towson.

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208definitions-2009 - Definitions Physical Anthropology...

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