Evolution vocabulary- Lab biology

Natural selection

The process by which individuals that are better adapted to their environment divide and reproduce successfully than less well adapted individuals.


The process of becoming adapted to the environment; an anatomical, physiological, or behavioral trait that improves an organism's ability to survive and reproduce.


In evolutionary theory, a measure of an individual's hereditary contribution to the generation

Homologous structures

Anatomical structures in one species that, compared to other anatomical structures in another species, originated from a single anatomical structure in a common ancestor of the two species

Divergent evolution

The process by which two or more related by reproductively isolated populations become more and more dismissal.

Convergent evolution

The process by which unrelated species come more similar as they adapt to the same kind of environment.

Vestigial structures

A structure in an organism that is reduced in size and function and that may have been complete and functional in an organism's ancestors.

Analogous structure

An anatomical structure in one species that is similar in function and appearance, but not in evolutionary origin, to another anatomical structure in another species.


The evolution of two or more species that is due to mutual influence, often in a way that makes the relationship more mutually beneficial.

Artificial selection

The selective breeding of organisms (by humans) for specific desirable characteristics