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Society Information / Statement on Evolution / Vocabulary
allele – One of the alternate forms of a gene.
biodiversity (biological diversity) – The existence of a wide variety of species (species diversity) or other taxa of plants, animals, and microorganisms in a natural community or habitat, or of communities within a particular environment (ecological diversity), or of genetic variation within a species (genetic diversity).
coevolution – The evolution of complimentary adaptations in two species caused by the selection pressures that each exerts on the other.
gene frequencies (allele frequency) – The occurrence of an allele in a population in relation to other alleles of the same gene.
homologous – Describing features of organisms that have the same evolutionary origin but often have developed different functions (such as leaves and the layers of an onion).
selection pressure – The extent to which organisms possessing a particular characteristic are either eliminated or favored by environmental demands.
taxon (sing.; taxa, pl.) – Any named taxonomic group of any rank in the classification of organisms (such as families, genera, or species).
Definitions modified from: A Dictionary of Biology, Third Edition, 1996, Oxford University Press, Oxford.