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An objective and verifiable observation; in contrast with a hypothesis or theory, which are intended to explain or interpret facts.
filter feeding
Feeding type involving the filtering of organic particles from water by the gills, after which appropriately sized particles are transported to the mouth.
The relative probability of survival and reproduction for a genotype.
The recognizable remains of past life on Earth, e.g., bones, shells, or leaves, or the traces of such life, e.g., tracks, burrows, or impressions.
fossil record
The totality of fossilized artifacts and their placement within the Earth’s rock strata, which provides information about the history of life on Earth, e.g., what organisms looked like, where and when they lived, how they evolved, etc.
Process by which an organism becomes preserved in layers of the Earth, usually involving burial and/or lithification.
fouling community
Community of organisms found attached to hard substrata, most usually human-made, e.g., on the sides of docks, marinas, harbors, or vessels.
founder effect
Genetic drift observed in a population that was founded by a small non-representative sample of a larger population; also called the “bottleneck effect.”
Living independently of another organism; not part of a parasitic or symbiotic relationship; or moving independently, i.e., not sessile.