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acquired trait: A phenotypic characteristic, acquired during growth and development, that is not genetically based and therefore cannot be passed on to the next generation (for example, the large muscles of a weightlifter).adaptation: Any heritable characteristic of an organism that improves its ability to survive and reproduce in its environment.
Most amphibians are found in damp environments and they occur on all continents except Antarctica.
analogous structures: Structures in different species that look alike or perform similar functions (e.g., the wings of butterflies and the wings of birds) that have evolved convergently but do not develop from similar groups of embryological tissues, and that have not evolved from similar structures known to be shared by common ancestors. Note: The recent discovery of deep genetic homologies has brought new interest, new information, and discussion to the classical concepts of analogous and homologous structures.
anatomy: (1) The structure of an organism or one of its parts. ancestral homology: Homology that evolved before the common ancestor of a set of species, and which is present in other species outside that set of species. anthropoid: A member of the group of primates made up of monkeys, apes, and humans.
The term can also be applied to larger groups of organisms, as in "the adaptive radiation of mammals." adaptive strategies: A mode of coping with competition or environmental conditions on an evolutionary time scale.
Species adapt when succeeding generations emphasize beneficial characteristics.
The diameter of the aperture determines the intensity of light admitted. archeology: The study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of physical remains, such as graves, tools, pottery, and other artifacts.
The pupil of a human eye is a self-adjusting aperture. archetype: The original form or body plan from which a group of organisms develops.
amino acid sequence: A series of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, usually coded for by DNA.
Exceptions are those coded for by the RNA of certain viruses, such as HIV.
Then, even if circumstances change such that it no longer provides any survival or reproductive advantage, the behavior will still tend to be exhibited -- unless it becomes positively disadvantageous in the new environment.
adaptive radiation: The diversification, over evolutionary time, of a species or group of species into several different species or subspecies that are typically adapted to different ecological niches (for example, Darwin's finches).
antibacterial: Having the ability to kill bacteria.