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).
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These all develop through an embryo that is enclosed within a membrane called an amnion.
The amnion surrounds the embryo with a watery substance, and is probably an adaptation for breeding on land.
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).
Peaks on the landscape correspond to genotypic frequencies at which the average fitness is high, valleys to genotypic frequencies at which the average fitness is low. adaptive logic: A behavior has adaptive logic if it tends to increase the number of offspring that an individual contributes to the next and following generations.
If such a behavior is even partly genetically determined, it will tend to become widespread in the population.
artifact: An object made by humans that has been preserved and can be studied to learn about a particular time period.
artificial selection: The process by which humans breed animals and cultivate crops to ensure that future generations have specific desirable characteristics.
allometry: The relation between the size of an organism and the size of any of its parts.
For example, an allometric relation exists between brain size and body size, such that (in this case) animals with bigger bodies tend to have bigger brains.
amphibians: The class of vertebrates that contains the frogs, toads, newts, and salamanders.