Download Study Guide For Evolution Test - Mercer Island School District

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Review for the Evolution Test
(Sections 10.2-10.5, 11.2. 11.5, 12.1-12.2 and 12.6)
Be able to define mutation and explain what role mutation plays in the process of
Be able to explain the prerequisites for natural selection on a trait:
 Overproduction of offspring
 Variation must exist for the trait
 The trait must be heritable
 The trait must lead to differential reproduction (differences in
reproductive success, due to increased likelihood of surviving and
Be able to explain the process of natural selection. Be able to explain that the
expression “survival of the fittest” for natural selection does not always mean
survival of the strongest, and explain what it does mean.
Be able to define adaptation and explain how natural selection can lead to an
adaptation. Be able to define gene pool and understand that an adaptation reflects a
change in the gene pool of a population with an increase in favorable genes.
Be able to define artificial selection (selective breeding).
Be able to explain directional selection, stabilizing selection and disruptive selection
and explain how they would affect the normal distribution of a trait.
Be able to define genetic equilibrium and be able to explain when a trait would be in
a genetic equilibrium.
Be able to define divergent evolution and speciation and explain how isolation
(geographic, behavioral or temporal) could result in these processes. Be able to
define geographic isolation, behavioral isolation and temporal isolation. Know that
reproductive isolation is the final phase in speciation in which the two population are
no longer capable of interbreeding.
Be able to explain how filling an available niche can allow a species to survive and
how this can lead to diversification.
Be able to define homologous structure and give an example. Understand that
homologous structures are produced by divergent evolution from a common
Be able to define vestigial structure and give an example.
Be able to define convergent evolution and give an example. Be able to explain why
convergent evolution would occur.
Be able to define analogous structure and give an example. Understand that
analogous structures are the result of convergent evolution. (Traits that are similar in
two different species but do not have a common origin.)
Be able to define transitional fossil and give an example.
Be able to explain why biochemical evidence (nucleotide sequence of DNA and amino
acid sequence of protein) is usually considered the more reliable in determining the
evolutionary relationship among species than anatomical comparisons.
Understand the processes for dating fossils:
 Law of Superposition: For sedimentary rock, the youngest layers are on top
(if the layers are undisturbed).
 Radioactive dating: Know the definition of half life and be able to solve basic
problems, given half-lives for the radioactive isotope.
1. A rock sample contains isotope X, which has a half-life of 2000 years.
After 10,000 years, what fraction of isotope X will remain?
2. A fossil has 1/16 the original amount of carbon-14, (which has a half life of
5,370 years). How old is the fossil?
Be able to define the following terms: primate, opposable thumb, bipedal.
(Answers to above questions: 1. 1/32nd , 2. 21,480)