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Biogeography
Biogeography
Biogeography
is the study of the distribution of species and ecosystems in geographic space and through geological time. Organisms and biological communities often vary in a regular fashion along geographic gradients of latitude, elevation, isolation and habitat area.[1] Phytogeography
Phytogeography
is the branch of biogeography that studies the distribution of plants
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Extinction Event
An extinction event (also known as a mass extinction or biotic crisis) is a widespread and rapid decrease in the biodiversity on Earth. Such an event is identified by a sharp change in the diversity and abundance of multicellular organisms. It occurs when the rate of extinction increases with respect to the rate of speciation. Estimates of the number of major mass extinctions in the last 540 million years range from as few as five to more than twenty. These differences stem from the threshold chosen for describing an extinction event as "major", and the data chosen to measure past diversity. Because most diversity and biomass on Earth
Earth
is microbial, and thus difficult to measure, recorded extinction events affect the easily observed, biologically complex component of the biosphere rather than the total diversity and abundance of life.[1] Extinction occurs at an uneven rate
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Evolutionary Taxonomy
Evolutionary
Evolutionary
taxonomy, evolutionary systematics or Darwinian classification is a branch of biological classification that seeks to classify organisms using a combination of phylogenetic relationship (shared descent), progenitor-descendant relationship (serial descent), and degree of evolutionary change. This type of taxonomy may consider whole taxa rather than single species, so that groups of species can be inferred as giving rise to new groups.[1] The concept found its most well-known form in the modern evolutionary synthesis of the early 1940s. Evolutionary
Evolutionary
taxonomy differs from strict pre-Darwinian Linnaean taxonomy (producing orderly lists only), in that it builds evolutionary trees. While in phylogenetic nomenclature each taxon must consist of a single ancestral node and all its descendants, evolutionary taxonomy allows for groups to be excluded from their parent taxa (e.g
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Human Evolution
Human
Human
evolution is the evolutionary process that led to the emergence of anatomically modern humans, beginning with the evolutionary history of primates—in particular genus Homo—and leading to the emergence of Homo sapiens
Homo sapiens
as a distinct species of the hominid family, the great apes
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Parallel Evolution
Parallel evolution is the similar development of a trait in distinct species that are not closely related, but share a similar original trait in response to similar evolutionary pressure.[1][2]Contents1 Parallel vs. convergent evolution1.1 Examples1.1.1 Parallel evolution between marsupials and placentals2 ReferencesParallel vs. convergent evolution[edit] Evolution at an amino acid position. In each case, the left-hand species changes from incorporating alanine (A) at a specific position within a protein in a hypothetical common ancestor deduced from comparison of sequences of several species, and now incorporates serine (S) in its present-day form
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Divergent Evolution
Divergent evolution
Divergent evolution
or divergent selection is the accumulation of differences between closely related populations within a species, leading to speciation. Divergent evolution
Divergent evolution
is typically exhibited when two populations become separated by a geographic barrier (such as in allopatric or peripatric speciation) and experience different selective pressures that drive adaptations to their new environment. After many generations and continual evolution, the populations become unable to interbreed with one another.[1] The American naturalist J. T. Gulick
J. T. Gulick
(1832-1923) was the first to use the term "divergent evolution",[2] with its use becoming widespread in modern evolutionary literature
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Evolutionary Ideas Of The Renaissance And Enlightenment
Evolutionary ideas during the periods of the Renaissance
Renaissance
and the Enlightenment developed over a time when natural history became more sophisticated during the 17th and 18th centuries, and as the scientific revolution and the rise of mechanical philosophy encouraged viewing the natural world as a machine with workings capable of analysis. But the evolutionary ideas of the early 18th century were of a religious and spiritural nature
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Transitional Fossil
A transitional fossil is any fossilized remains of a life form that exhibits traits common to both an ancestral group and its derived descendant group.[1] This is especially important where the descendant group is sharply differentiated by gross anatomy and mode of living from the ancestral group. These fossils serve as a reminder that taxonomic divisions are human constructs that have been imposed in hindsight on a continuum of variation. Because of the incompleteness of the fossil record, there is usually no way to know exactly how close a transitional fossil is to the point of divergence. Therefore, it cannot be assumed that transitional fossils are direct ancestors of more recent groups, though they are frequently used as models for such ancestors.[2] In 1859, when Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species
On the Origin of Species
was first published, the fossil record was poorly known
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Cladistics
Cladistics
Cladistics
(/kləˈdɪstɪks/, from Greek κλάδος, cládos, "branch")[1] is an approach to biological classification in which organisms are categorized in groups ("clades") based on the most recent common ancestor. Hypothesized relationships are typically based on shared derived characteristics (synapomorphies) that can be traced to the most recent common ancestor and are not present in more distant groups and ancestors. A key feature of a clade is that a common ancestor and all its descendants are part of the clade. Importantly, all descendants stay in their overarching ancestral clade. For example, if within a strict cladistic framework the terms animals, bilateria/worms, fishes/vertebrata, or monkeys/anthropoidea were used, these terms would include humans. Many of these terms are normally used paraphyletically, outside of cladistics, e.g
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Transmutation Of Species
Transmutation of species
Transmutation of species
and transformism are 19th-century evolutionary ideas for the altering of one species into another that preceded Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection.[1] The French Transformisme was a term used by Jean Baptiste Lamarck
Jean Baptiste Lamarck
in 1809 for his theory, and other 19th century proponents of pre-Darwinian evolutionary ideas included Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Robert Grant, and Robert Chambers, the anonymous author of the book Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation. Opposition in the scientific community to these early theories of evolution, led by influential scientists like the anatomists Georges Cuvier
Georges Cuvier
and Richard Owen
Richard Owen
and the geologist Charles Lyell, was intense
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Phylogenetic Tree
A phylogenetic tree or evolutionary tree is a branching diagram or "tree" showing the evolutionary relationships among various biological species or other entities—their phylogeny (/faɪˈlɒdʒəni/)—based upon similarities and differences in their physical or genetic characteristics. All life on Earth is part of a single phylogenetic tree, indicating common ancestry. In a rooted phylogenetic tree, each node with descendants represents the inferred most recent common ancestor of those descendants, and the edge lengths in some trees may be interpreted as time estimates. Each node is called a taxonomic unit. Internal nodes are generally called hypothetical taxonomic units, as they cannot be directly observed. Trees are useful in fields of biology such as bioinformatics, systematics, and phylogenetics
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Timeline Of Evolutionary History Of Life
This timeline of the evolutionary history of life represents the current scientific theory outlining the major events during the development of life on planet Earth. In biology, evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organization, from kingdoms to species, and individual organisms and molecules, such as DNA
DNA
and proteins. The similarities between all present day organisms indicate the presence of a common ancestor from which all known species, living and extinct, have diverged through the process of evolution
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Charles Darwin
Professional institution:Geological Society of London Academic advisors John Stevens Henslow Adam Sedgwick Influences Charles Lyell Alexander von Humboldt John Herschel Thomas Malthus InfluencedHooker, Huxley, Romanes, Haeckel, Lubbock Signature Charles Robert Darwin, FRS FRGS FLS FZS[2] (/ˈdɑːrwɪn/;[5] 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist, geologist and biologist,[6] best known for his contributions to the science of evolution.[I] His proposition that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors is now widely accepted, and considered a foundational concept in science.[7] In a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace, he introduced his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding.[8]
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Abiogenesis
Abiogenesis, or informally the origin of life,[3][4][5][a] is the natural process by which life has arisen from non-living matter, such as simple organic compounds.[6][4][7][8] While the details of this process are still unknown, the prevailing scientific hypothesis is that the transition from non-living to living entities was not a single event, but a gradual process of increasing complexity that involved molecular self-replication, self-assembly, autocatalysis, and the emergence of cell membranes.[9][10][11] Although the occurrence of abiogenesis is uncontroversial among scientists, there is no single, generally accepted model for the origin of life, and this article presents several principles and hypotheses for how abiogenesis could have occurred. Researchers study abiogenesis through a combination of molecular biology, paleontology, astrobiology, oceanography, biophysics, geochemistry and bioch
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Coevolution
In biology, coevolution occurs when two or more species reciprocally affect each other's evolution. Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
mentioned evolutionary interactions between flowering plants and insects in On the Origin of Species
On the Origin of Species
(1859). The term coevolution was coined by Paul R. Ehrlich
Paul R. Ehrlich
and Peter H. Raven
Peter H

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Evolutionary Anthropology
Evolutionary anthropology
Evolutionary anthropology
is the interdisciplinary study of the evolution of human physiology and human behaviour and the relation between hominids and non-hominid primates. Evolutionary anthropology is based in natural science and social science
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