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In a diploid cell there are usually two alleles of any one gene (one from each parent).
The eggs are soft and vulnerable to drying, therefore reproduction commonly occurs in water.
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.
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.
ammonoid: Extinct relatives of cephalopods (squid, octopi, and chambered nautiluses), these mollusks had coiled shells and are found in the fossil record of the Cretaceous period.
amniotes: The group of reptiles, birds, and mammals.
agnostic: A person who believes that the existence of a god or creator and the nature of the universe is unknowable.
algae: An umbrella term for various simple organisms that contain chlorophyll (and can therefore carry out photosynthesis) and live in aquatic habitats and in moist situations on land. Algae range from macroscopic seaweeds such as giant kelp, which frequently exceeds 30 m in length, to microscopic filamentous and single-celled forms such as Spirogyra and Chlorella. For example, if a gene determines the seed color of peas, one allele of that gene may produce green seeds and another allele produce yellow seeds.
antibiotic resistance: A heritable trait in microorganisms that enables them to survive in the presence of an antibiotic.
aperture: Of a camera, the adjustable opening through which light passes to reach the film.
artifact: An object made by humans that has been preserved and can be studied to learn about a particular time period.