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Early Beliefs
– Chain of Beings- Life extended from lowest forms to humans, spiritual beings were highest.
– Single Creation- All species were links created at the same time at one center of creation.
Evidence against concept of immutable (unchanging) species:
– Biogeography - Study of patterns in geographic distribution of species and communities
– Comparative morphology- Study of similarities and differences in body plans of major groups
– Geologic discoveries- Deeper layers contain simpler fossils than shallow layers
– Georges Cuvier: catastrophism
– James Hutton: gradualism
– Jean Lamarck: teleological evolution (evolution with a predetermined purpose!)
– Served as ship’s naturalist on 5 year trip aboard HMS Beagle
– Found fossil Glyptodont fossils in Argentina
– Proposed descent with modification (Glyptodonts gave rise to armadillos)
– Collected and studied finches from Galapagos Islands
– Read essay by Thomas Malthus on population and resource limitation
– This essay and his experience with breeding domestic animals and plants helped him develop his
idea of Natural Selection
– Published his essay because Alfred Wallace independently arrived at same conclusion
Natural Selection
– Selection for various traits among individuals of a population, affects which individuals survive and reproduce in each generation
– Process results in adaptation to the environment (increases fitness)
– Some heritable aspect of form, function, or behavior that improves the odds for surviving and reproducing
– Environment specific
– Outcome of natural selection
Populations Evolve
– Biological evolution changes populations, not individuals
– Traits in a population vary among individuals
– Evolution: change in the frequency of certain alleles (genes)
Gene pool- all genes within a population
Genetic equilibrium
– Allele frequencies at a locus are not changing
– Population is not evolving
– ( Five Conditions)
• No mutation
• Random mating
• Gene doesn’t affect survival or reproduction
• Large population
• No immigration/emigration
Microevolutionary Processes
– Drive a population away from genetic equilibrium
– Small-scale changes in allele frequencies brought about by
– Natural selection
– Gene flow
– Genetic drift
Genetic Mutations
– Infrequent but inevitable
– Each gene has own mutation rate
Lethal mutations
– Neutral mutations
– Advantageous mutations
Outcomes of Natural Selection:
– Directional Selection
• Allele frequencies shift in consistent direction over time
– Stabilizing Selection
• Intermediate forms are favored and extremes are eliminated
– Disruptive Selection
• Happens when forms at both ends of the range of variation are favored
• Intermediate forms are selected against
– Sexual Selection leads to sexual dimorphism
– Polymorphism leads to more than two forms
Genetic drift- like directional selection, but not due to selective pressure, happens by chance
Bottleneck – reduction in genetic variation in a population due to disease, or cataclysmic event
Founder effect- limited genetic variability due to foundation of a population by few individuals
Gene flow- exchange of genetic material among populations (e.g. birds carry seeds)
– Major patterns and trends among lineages
– Rates of change in geologic time
Divergent Morphology
– Homologous structures- same tissues different function
Convergent Morphology
– Analogous structures- different tissues same function
Molecular comparisons
– DNA, RNA, proteins
– Molecular clocks
Reproductive isolation
– Prezygotic mechanisms- inhibit zygote formation
– Postzygotic mechanisms- zygote is sterile, or doesn’t live long
Speciation Models
– Allopatric- populations are isolated by a physical barrier
– Sympatric- populations acquire specialized niches
– Parapatric- neighboring populations drift genetically to become distinct species
Evolution Practice Exam
Multiple Choice
Identify the choice that best completes the statement or answers the question.
1. People embracing the idea of the great Chain of Being did NOT believe in which of the following?
a. Spiritual beings were a part of the Chain.
b. Life forms were designed and forged at the same time at one center of creation.
c. Organisms could appear, disappear, or move up and down the Chain.
d. Each species was "fixed" at creation.
e. All the "links" would eventually be discovered.
2. The distribution of different organisms over the surface of the Earth
a. offers evidence for evolution.
b. provides evidence for a single center of evolution.
c. appears to be simply a matter of chance.
d. is not affected by biogeographical features.
e. is primarily the result of human activities.
3. Ancient whales as seen from fossil evidence have
a. wings.
b. one pair of internal legs.
c. two pairs of internal legs.
d. ankle bones.
e. two pairs of vestigial legs that are seen externally.
4. The oldest fossils
a. demonstrate the widest distribution.
b. represent the most highly evolved plants and animals.
c. are found buried deepest in the ground.
d. are found in Africa.
e. are primitive marine vertebrates.
5. Lamarck believed
a. that evolution was a strive to become more perfect.
b. in the inheritance of acquired characteristics.
c. that giraffes' necks elongated in response to stretching.
d. that environmental pressures bring about changes in organisms.
e. all of these
6. Which theory was helpful to Darwin in the formulation of his theory of evolution?
a. catastrophism
b. inheritance of acquired characteristics
c. populations produce more offspring than the environment can support
d. continental drift
e. special creationism
7. Glyptodonts were fossil forms that resembled
a. ostriches.
b. armadillos.
c. kangaroos.
d. turtles.
e. sloths.
8. The place Darwin visited on his trip around the world that had the greatest impact on his thinking was
a. the Canary Islands.
b. Africa.
c. the Hawaiian Islands.
d. the Galápagos Islands.
e. Brazil.
9. Darwin’s idea of “fitness” depends upon the fact that
a. the strong always survive, whereas the weak always die.
b. some individuals have a better chance to produce more offspring.
c. mutations are always harmful.
d. acquired characteristics are inherited.
e. reproduction of all members of a species is virtually the same.
10. The person credited with being the codiscoverer of natural selection was
a. Alfred Wallace.
b. Charles Lyell.
c. Thomas Malthus.
d. James Hutton.
e. John Henslow.
11. Which of the following is considered a USUAL cause of variation in sexually reproducing organisms?
a. changes in chromosome number
b. mutation
c. independent assortment of chromosomes
d. crossing over
e. both independent assortment of chromosomes and crossing over
12. New genes (alleles) arise from
a. genetic drift.
b. mutation.
c. gene flow.
d. recombination.
e. natural selection.
13. The study of the patterns in the geographic distribution of plants and animals around the world is
a. diversity.
b. biogeography.
c. ecology.
d. natural history.
e. environmentalism.
14. Directional selection occurs when
a. the environment controls which organisms will survive.
b. humans determine which organisms will survive.
c. both extremes of the population have a lesser chance to survive.
d. both extremes of the population have a better chance to survive.
e. the organisms on one extreme of the population have a better chance to survive than those
on the other extreme.
15. The difference in the appearance of the male and the female is known as
a. polymorphism.
b. sexual dimorphism.
c. the dioecious condition.
d. the monoecious condition.
e. a primary sexual characteristic.
____ 16. An adaptation within a population is
a. an outcome of microevolution
b. genetic drift.
c. isolation.
d. mating preference.
e. sexual dimorphism.
____ 17. The introduction of a small population onto an island that results in a limited gene pool for a population is an
example of
a. genetic equilibrium.
b. genetic drift.
c. the bottleneck effect.
d. the founder effect.
e. the effect of genetic isolation.
____ 18. The sharp reduction of the gene pool and the numbers of a population through a severe epidemic is an
example of
a. natural selection.
b. genetic isolation.
c. the bottleneck effect.
d. the founder principle.
e. all of these
____ 19. Gene flow
a. makes adjacent populations more similar.
b. acts to prevent speciation.
c. is a microevolutionary process.
d. counteracts the effects of mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift.
e. all of these
____ 20. Which of the following is NOT a characteristic of an unchanging, nonevolving population?
a. random mating
b. no mutation
c. differential survival
d. no migration or gene flow
e. infinitely large population
____ 21. Four of the five answers listed below can upset genetic equilibrium. Select the exception.
a. random mating
b. genetic drift
c. mutation
d. natural selection
e. gene flow
____ 22. Four of the five answers listed below are characteristics of mutations. Select the exception.
a. predictable
b. lethal or beneficial
c. random
d. effects depend upon environment
e. heritable
____ 23. The weight distribution of human newborns is an example of
a. disruptive selection
b. parental selection
c. directional selection
d. stabilizing selection
____ 24. The concept of a molecular clock is based on the idea that
a. neutral mutations occur at regular rates.
b. genetic relatedness can be determined by timing antibody-antigen reactions.
c. radioactive isotopes decay at a constant rate.
d. speciation is a rapid event.
e. cytochrome c is very similar in primates.
____ 25. Four of the five answers listed below are types of selection exhibited by nature. Select the exception.
a. artificial
b. disruptive
c. stabilizing
d. directional
e. sexual
____ 26. Four of the five answers listed below are types of prezygotic isolating mechanisms. Select the exception.
a. temporal
b. hybrid inviability
c. mechanical
d. ecological
e. gametic
____ 27. Which of the following is a reproductive isolation mechanism?
a. postzygotic
b. allopatric
c. parapatric
d. punctuation
e. sympatric
____ 28. Four of the five answers listed below can function to isolate populations. Select the exception.
a. geography
b. behavior
c. time
d. gametes
e. external fertilization
____ 29. Which of the following serve as examples of morphological convergence?
a. bats, birds, and insects
b. panthers and tigers
c. apes and monkeys
d. sharks, skates, and rays
e. mice, rats, and gerbils
____ 30. The wings of a bird and the wings of a butterfly are _?_ and show morphological _?_.
a. homologous; convergence
b. analogous; convergence
c. homologous; divergence
d. analogous; divergence
e. homologous; diversity
____ 31. The bones in the forelimbs of a mammal
a. can often be traced to a common ancestor.
b. offer no evidence to support the theory of evolution.
c. always perform the same function no matter which species they are in.
d. may exhibit either analogy or homology but never both.
e. never show convergence with invertebrate structures.
____ 32. Which of the following structures are analogous but NOT homologous to each other?
a. wing of a bird and the wing of a butterfly
b. bones of the wing of a bird and the toes of a bat
c. the dewclaw of a dog and elbow of a human
d. the flipper of an aquatic animal and the arm of a human
e. All of these are analogous but not homologous.
____ 33. Which mutations are NOT subject to natural selection?
a. lethal
b. physiological
c. neutral
d. morphological
e. beneficial
____ 34. Comparisons of protein similarity between species can reveal the degree of genetic kinship because
a. there are no protein variations among species.
b. specific amino acids are dictated by known nucleotide sequences.
c. gel electrophoresis converts proteins to nucleotides.
d. protein can be hybridized with DNA.
e. DNA is made by directions stored in proteins.
____ 35. The most conclusive (and modern) evidence used in establishing the relationship of closely related species is
a. fossil remains.
b. taxonomy.
c. DNA-DNA hybridization.
d. homologous structures.
e. analogous structures.
____ 36. Members of the same species would be expected to
a. look exactly alike.
b. be reproductively isolated from one another.
c. share the same gene pool.
d. have the same phenotype.
e. resist evolution.
____ 37. Speciation occurs
a. after populations become reproductively isolated and diverge.
b. when mutations generate observable differences.
c. when transitional forms develop between different populations.
d. when natural selection pressures reach their maximum.
e. when humans intervene and establish new breeds.
____ 38. Divergence may lead to
a. genetic drift.
b. speciation.
c. balanced polymorphism.
d. gene flow.
e. genetic equilibrium.
____ 39. Isolating mechanisms that take effect before or during fertilization could be classified as
a. hybridizing.
b. prezygotic.
c. genetically divergent.
d. postzygotic.
e. persistent.
____ 40. Members of two different bird species mate and produce viable fertile offspring. The courtship song of the
hybrid is not recognized by members of either parent species. This is an example of
a. speciation.
b. balanced polymorphism.
c. behavioral isolation.
d. sexual selection.
e. ecological isolation.
Practice Evolution Exam Answer Section