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BIOCH17 - half-life Characteristic time it takes for half...

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Chapter 17 Notes adaptation A heritable trait that enhances an individual’s fitness; an adaptive trait. adaptive trait A heritable trait that enhances an individuals fitness; an evolutionary adaptation. biogeography Study of patterns in the geographic distribution of species and communities. catastrophism Now-abandoned hypothesis that catastrophic geologic forces unlike those of the present day shaped Earth’s surface. comparative morphology Scientific study of the body plans and structures among groups of organisms. evolution Change in a line of descent. fitness The degree of adaptation to an environment, as measured by an individual’s relative genetic contribution to future generations. fossil Physical evidence of an organism that lived in the past. geologic time scale Chronology of Earth’s history. Gondwana Supercontinent that formed more than 500 million years ago.
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Unformatted text preview: half-life Characteristic time it takes for half of a quantity of a radioisotope to decay. lineage Line of descent. natural selection A process of evolution in which individuals of a population who vary in the details of heritable traits survive and reproduce with differing success. naturalist Person who observes life from a scientific perspective. Pangea Supercontinent that formed about 237 million years ago and broke up about 152 million years ago. plate tectonics Theory that Earth’s outer layer of rock is cracked into plates, the slow movement of which rafts continents to new locations over time. radiometric dating Method of estimating the age of a rock or fossil by measuring the content and proportions of a radioisotope and its daughter elements. theory of uniformity Idea that gradual repetitive processes occurring over long time spans shaped Earth’s surface....
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