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adaptation

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abaptation

abaptation  

The process by which an organism is fitted to its environment as a consequence of the characters it inherits, which have been filtered by natural selection in previous environments. Because present ...
acclimation

acclimation  

A response by an animal that enables it to tolerate a change in a single factor (e.g. temperature) in its environment. The term is applied most commonly to animals used in laboratory experiments and ...
acclimatization

acclimatization  

1 The progressive adaptation of an organism to any change in its natural environment that subjects it to physiological stress. See also acclimation.2 The overall sum of processes by which an organism ...
acquired characteristics

acquired characteristics  

Features that are developed during the lifetime of an individual, e.g. the enlarged arm muscles of a tennis player. Such characteristics are not genetically controlled and cannot be passed on to the ...
adaptedness

adaptedness  

The condition of being adapted, as distinct from the process of adaptation.
adaptive breakthrough

adaptive breakthrough  

An evolutionary change by the acquisition of a distinctive adaptation that permits a population or taxon to move from one adaptive zone to another. At the most extreme such moves might be from water ...
adaptive radiation

adaptive radiation  

The evolutionary process whereby species that are descended from a common ancestor diverge to exploit different ecological niches.
adaptive threshold

adaptive threshold  

The limit imposed on the adaptation of a taxon within a particular adaptive zone (e.g. the fins of a flying fish are adapted for gliding flight, but the fish can remain airborne for only a limited ...
adaptive zone

adaptive zone  

A taxon that is considered together with its associated environmental regime(s), habitat, or niche. The adaptive specialization that fits the taxon to its environment, and hence the adaptive zone, ...
aptation

aptation  

Any character currently subject to selection whether its origin can be ascribed to selective processes (adaptation) or to processes other than selection or selection for a different function ...
August Friedrich Leopold Weismann

August Friedrich Leopold Weismann  

(1834–1914)A German biologist who established the improbability, if not impossibility, of the inheritance of acquired characteristics, as required by Lamarck's theory of adaptation.
Baldwin effect

Baldwin effect  

An idea advanced in 1896 by US psychologist James Mark Baldwin (1861–1934) and others to explain the social evolution of traits that are learned during the lifetime of individuals. Originally called ...
behavioural ecology

behavioural ecology  

1 The study of the behaviour of an organism in its natural habitat.2 The application of behavioural theories (e.g. game theory) to particular activities (e.g. foraging).
biome

biome  

A grouping of ecosystems (q.v.) into a larger group occupying a major terrestrial region (e.g., tropical rainforest biome, mixed conifer and deciduous forest biome).
cline

cline  

A gradual variation in the characteristics of a species or population over its geographical range. It occurs in response to varying environmental factors, such as soil type or climate.
co-evolution

co-evolution  

A process in which the simultaneous evolution of two or more organisms, such as a predator and its prey, is dependent on or influenced by their mutual interaction or relationship.
Comparative Method

Comparative Method  

The comparative method is one of evolutionary biology's most enduring approaches to testing hypotheses of adaptation. Evolutionary biologists use it to investigate how the characteristics of ...
competition

competition  

(in chemistry) rivalry between two or more different, but often similar, chemical species for a specific biochemical system, e.g. a receptor, enzyme, transport system, antibody molecule, or ion ...
Constraints on Adaptation

Constraints on Adaptation  

Does natural selection lead to a “perfection of animals,” as the indefatigable taxonomist Arthur Cain suggested in the 1960s? Or are there constraints on what natural selection can achieve, what ...
Darwinian Medicine

Darwinian Medicine  

Evolutionary thought has long had problems of two sorts with cognate disciplines. Some resisted the application of evolutionary ideas simply because they were defending intellectual territory. Others ...

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