Vocabulary words from unit F.

Term Definition
adaptation Inherited characteristics that aid in an organism’s survival and reproduction.
class The major subdivisions of classifying living organisms which consists of several orders.
classification The process of grouping living organisms into classes. This is achieved by comparing traits and characteristics and genetic relationships.
competition In which organisms/species use the same limited resources.
DNA (Also known as deoxyribonucleic acid) A long molecule that carries and passes down genes from parent to offspring.
endangered species A species that is in danger of becoming extinct.
environment The surroundings or conditions in which an organism lives.
evolution The slight changes in a species that build up over time.
extinction In which a species ceases to exist because the last of said species died without any surviving offspring.
family Major subdivisions of an order that help to specify what type of organism one is.
fossil record Information about past / extinct species that provides information about the history of life on Earth.
genes Units of genetic code that are passed down from parent to offspring and determine said offspring’s traits.
mutation A change in DNA that can lead to different traits.
natural selection In which organisms with traits that give them a better chance of survival live long enough to reproduce and pass those traits on to the next generation. Over time, the organism without these traits die.
population Organisms of the same species living in the same general habitat or vicinity.
speciation The formation of a new species due to new changes previously prohibited by the environment or evolution.
species A group of organisms with similar identifying traits and evolutionary history that can reproduce offspring with little variation.
trait A distinguishing version of a quality or characteristic that varies from one individual to another.
variation Differences in organisms of the same species.
vertebrates Organisms with a backbone/spinal column.

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