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.Also used to describe the process of genetic change within a population, as influenced by natural selection.
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.
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).
Allometric relations can be studied during the growth of a single organism, between different organisms within a species, or between organisms in different species. amino acid: The unit molecular building block of proteins, which are chains of amino acids in a certain sequence.