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Elsberry's talk.origins jargon FAQ (mirror as convenient single document text file and William Hudson's more readable glossary of terms, and also more relevant as a general evolution and science glossary (Talk Origins emphasises good and bad arguments, geek culture, etc.); the US Geological Survey Glossary of Terms, the Understanding Evolution Glossary, the PBS evolution Glossary, as well as Wikipedia: evolutionary biology topics, and other Wikipedia pages on evolution and Creation–evolution controversy; the Evo Wiki Encyclopedia (including Geology, Paleontology, Paleontologists, Evo Wiki: History of science, although more topics need to be added or listed, and some of my (MAK) own interests and definitions.Where an entry is taken from a single reference, the source is given; sometimes where there it integrates a number of references none is.

Hence instead terms like basal tetrapod or the names of individual clades and taxa (temnospondyls, lepidospondyls, Lissamphibia, etc), are used. Archaea one of the three domains of life in the molecular phylogeny described by Carl Woese (originally Archaeobacteria, renamed Archaea by Woese et al 1990), prokaryotes that are metabolically and morphologically distinct from Eubacteria; includes many types of extremophiles, remnants from the earlier history of the earth. 2010 and other refs) rejects ancient origin on morphological and paleontological grounds.

Nevertheless, "amphibian" can still be used in a generic sense to refer to any non-amniotic tetrapod. Anagenesis the evolutionary transformation of one species over time into another, resulting in the emergence of a new character or attribute (which in this case a new species) from an older one. Ancestor in this context, an organism, or more correctly a population, lineage, or species, that through evolution gives rise to one or more descendants that generally belong to a distinct species or lineage. Ancient Astronaut theory new age meme advocated by Erich Von Däniken, according to which extraterrestrials were involved in, or are responsible for, human evolution. Generally does not try to explain where the rest of life (or the aliens themselves, for that matter! A more recent iteration can be found in Ridley Scott's movie Prometheus. Ankylosaur herbivourous armoured mostly Cretaceous "bird hipped" dinosaurs with rows of bony plates protecting the sides and back, and armed with either spikes along the sides or a bony club at the end of the trail Anthropocentrism, anthropocentric Centering on humans and considering or relating all other things to man; for example the biblical idea that only man has a divine soul, or the belief that humans are of greater moral worth than other species; the practice, conscious or otherwise, of regarding the existence and/or concerns of human beings as the central fact of the universe. Since each presents strong arguments, we defer trying to decide which paradigm is correct.

Amniote major tetrapod lade that reproduce by means of an external or internal egg in which the embryo or fetus is protected and nourished by several extensive membranes. Archean the second of the four eons of the geological timescale, characterised by a reducing (non-oxygen) atmosphere and the earliest prokaryote life. Archaeopteryx the earliest and most primitive known bird, most of whose fossil remains were recovered in the 19th century, from the Jurassic Solnhofen limestone in Bavaria.

The following, inevitably incomplete, introductory glossary of terms and concepts links to other topics discussed elsewhere on this site, as well as including general topics of interest such as well-known prehistoric animals.

It still needs to be modified more by removing some more technical terms, and adding more common terms.

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Agnatha name given to what was previously considered a class of jawless fish, including both Paleozoic ostracoderms and extant lampreys and hagfish.