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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.
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.
Amphibian larvae are aquatic, and have gills for respiration; they undergo metamorphosis to the adult form.
Most amphibians are found in damp environments and they occur on all continents except Antarctica.
amphibians: The class of vertebrates that contains the frogs, toads, newts, and salamanders.
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.
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.
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.
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.