- Abiogenesis--the hypothetical process where life spontaneously formed from organic material that had arisen from inorganic material.
- Allele--alternative forms of genes that can have the same place on homologous chromosomes and are responsible for alternative traits.
- Astrobiology--the branch of biology that investigates the existence of living organisms on other planets; similar to Exobiology.
- Australopithecine--supposed human ancestor.
- Cambrian--from 500 million to 600 million years ago; marine invertebrates.
- Chromosome--a threadlike structure in cells that carries genes.
- Cladistics--a system of biological taxonomy based on the quantitative analysis of comparative data which is used to reconstruct trees summarizing the (assumed) phylogenetic relations and evolutionary history of groups of organisms.
- Craniate--animals having a bony or cartilaginous skeleton with a segmented spinal column and a large brain enclosed in a skull or cranium.
- DNA--a nucleic acid consisting of large molecules shaped like a double helix; it is the genetic information and is associated with the transmission of that genetic information.
- Evolution--the theory regarding the sequence of events involved in the evolutionary development of a species or taxonomic group of organisms.
- Exobiology--a branch of biology that examines the possibility of life existing elsewhere in the universe; similar to Astrobiology.
- Extinct--a species of life that is no longer living.
- Fossil--a relic or impression of a plant or animal that existed in a past geological age.
- Gene--a self-replicating protein molecule that resides in a chromosome and is part of the DNA construction.
- Genetic--dealing with genes; a gene is a unit within chromosomes that transmits hereditary characteristics.
- Genetic Drift--the change in frequency in which a gene appears in a population, through mutation, regardless of the adaptive value of the mutation.
- Hominid--any family of two-legged primates, including man.
- Hominoid--a sub-category of primates that includes Humans (Homonids) as well as the great apes (Pongids) and the lesser apes (Hylobates).
- Hypothesis--a tentative explanation for an observation or phenomena that can be tested through experimentation.
- Invertebrate--having no backbone or spinal column.
- Macroevolution--large scale change in organisms resulting in new species, genera, families, etc.
- Mammal--a warm blooded, air breathing vertebrate organism that gives birth to live young that suckle on the milk of their mothers.
- Microevolution--small scale genetic changes in organisms through mutations resulting in slight changes in an organism.
- Morphology--the branch of biology that deals with the structure of animals and plants.
- Mutation--an organism exhibiting the result of chromosomal alteration.
- Natural selection--the process by which organisms with helpful adaptive qualities are permitted by nature to transmit their genetic information to offspring; it is also the process by which an organism with harmful qualities is removed from the environment.
- Phylogeny--the sequence of events involved in the evolutionary development of a species or taxonomic group of organisms.
- PreCambrian--the time before 600 million years ago.
- Primate--any order of animals including man, apes, monkeys, lemurs, etc., characterized by flexible hands and feet.
- Punctuated Equilibrium--the theory that evolution occurs in huge and sudden jumps.
- Science--systemized knowledge derived through experimentation, observation, and study; also, the methodology used to acquire this knowledge.
- Singularities--a unique or peculiar feature or thing.
- Species--taxonomic group whose members can interbreed.
- Taxonomy-- a classification of organisms into groups based on similarities of structure or origin, etc.
- Tetrapod--any vertebrate having four legs or limbs.
- Theory--a statement or set of statements used to explain a phenomena. A theory is generally accepted as valid due to having survived repeated testing.
- Vertebrate--having a backbone or spinal column.
- Zoology--the branch of science that deals with animal structures, growth, and classification.
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