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Darwin & Natural Selection
Unit 6: Evolution
Chapter 15
Learning Goals
 1. Define "Evolution" & "Natural Selection".
 2. Describe the 4 steps of Natural
Selection, giving an example of each.
 3. Explain the importance of "Variation".
 4. Does Natural Selection act on an
organism phenotype or genotoype?
Explain!
 5. List the 5 evidences that support the
Theory of Evolution.
Theory of Evolution
 Evolution: The process of change
over time
 Specifically, a change in the frequency
of a gene or allele in a population over
time
Charles Darwin
 Father of Evolution
 Proposed a mechanism for
evolution, natural selection
 Darwin went on a 5-year trip
around the world on the ship,
the HMS Beagle
 As the ship’s naturalist, he
made observations of
organisms in South America
and the Galapagos Islands
•Wrote a book, “Origin of the Species”
Darwin’s Finches
Natural Selection
 Natural Selection: Organisms that are
best adapted to an environment survive
and reproduce more than others
 Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection
occurs in four steps:




Overproduction
Variation
Competition
Selection
1. Overproduction
 Each species produces more
offspring that can survive
2. Variation
 Each individual has a
unique combination of
inherited traits.
 Adaptation: an inherited
trait that increases an
organism’s chances of
survival
What adaptations do
you see?
What adaptations do
you see?
Why is Variation Important?
 Because the environment changes.
 The more variation within a species,
the more likely it will survive
 EX: If everyone is the same, they are all
vulnerable to the same environmental
changes or diseases
 The more variation of types of
species in an habitat, the more likely
at least some will survive
 EX: Dinosaurs replaced by mammals
Which community has a better chance
of surviving a natural disaster?
Community A
Community B
3. Competition
 Individuals COMPETE for limited
resources:
 Food, water, space, mates
 Natural selection occurs through
“Survival of the fittest”
 Fitness: the ability to survive and
reproduce
 Not all individuals survive to adulthood
4. Selection
 The individuals with the best traits /
adaptations will survive and have the
opportunity to pass on it’s traits to
offspring.
 Natural selection acts on the phenotype
(physical appearance), not the genotype
(genetic makeup)
 Ex: When a predator finds its prey, it is
due to the prey’s physical
characteristics, like color or slow speed,
not the alleles (BB, Bb)
 Individuals with traits that are not
well suited to their environment
either die or leave few offspring.
 Evolution occurs when good traits
build up in a population over many
generations and bad traits are
eliminated by the death of the
individuals.
Peppered Moth
A
 Which moth will the bird catch?
B
Descent with Modification
 Descent with Modification – each
living species has descended, with
changes, from other species over
time.
 Common Descent – all living
organisms are related to one another
Evidence for Evolution:





Fossil Record
Homologous Body Structures
Vestigial Organs
Embryology
Biochemical Evidence
The Fossil Record
 Fossils: a record of the history of life
on Earth
Archaeopteryx
 Missing link between
reptiles and birds
Homologous Body Structures
 Homologous
Body Structures:
similar anatomy in
different types of
animals because
of common
ancestor
Vestigial Organs
 Vestigial Organs: “leftover” traces of
evolution that serve no purpose
Embryology
 Embryology: embryos of all
vertebrates are very similar early on
Biochemical Evidence
 Biochemistry: DNA with more similar
sequences suggest species are more
closely related
 EX: Humans and chimpanzees share
more than 98% of identical DNA
sequences
Learning Goals
 1. Define "Evolution" & "Natural Selection".
 2. Describe the 4 steps of Natural
Selection, giving an example of each.
 3. Explain the importance of "Variation".
 4. Does Natural Selection act on an
organism phenotype or genotoype?
Explain!
 5. List the 5 evidences that support the
Theory of Evolution.
Coral Snake
(Poisonous)
Milk Snake
(Not
poisonous)
Stick Mantid
Flower Mantid
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