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Transcript
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Lesson Overview
19.2 Patterns and
Processes of Evolution
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
THINK ABOUT IT
The fossil record shows a parade of organisms that evolved, survived
for a time, and then disappeared. More than 99 percent of all species
that have lived on Earth are extinct.
How have so many different groups evolved?
Why are so many now extinct?
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Speciation and Extinction
What processes influence whether species and clades survive or become
extinct?
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Speciation and Extinction
What processes influence whether species and clades survive or become
extinct?
If the rate of speciation in a clade is equal to or greater than the rate of
extinction, the clade will continue to exist. If the rate of extinction in a clade
is greater than the rate of speciation, the clade will eventually become
extinct.
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Speciation and Extinction
Grand transformations in anatomy, phylogeny, ecology, and behavior—
which usually take place in clades larger than a single species—are known
as macroevolutionary patterns.
The ways new species emerge through speciation, and the ways species
disappear through extinction, are both examples of macroevolutionary
patterns.
The emergence, growth, and extinction of larger clades, such as mammals
or dinosaurs, are also macroevolutionary patterns.
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Macroevolution and Cladistics
Paleontologists study fossils to learn about patterns of macroevolution
and the history of life.
Fossils are classified using the same cladistic techniques, based on
shared derived characters that are used to classify living species.
In some cases, fossils are placed in clades that contain only extinct
organisms. In other cases, fossils are classified into clades that include
living organisms.
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Adaptation and Extinction
Throughout the history of life, organisms have faced changing
environments. Some species can adapt to new conditions and thrive.
Other species fail to adapt and become extinct.
The rates at which species appear, adapt, and become extinct vary
among clades and from one geologic time to another.
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Adaptation and Extinction
The emergence of new species with different characteristics can serve
as the “raw material” for macroevolutionary change within a clade.
If the “birth” rate of new species in a clade is equal to the “death” rate, or
extinction, the clade will survive.
If the “death” rate of the species exceeds the birth rate, the clade will die
out.
In some cases, the more varied the species in a particular clade are, the
more likely the clade is to survive environmental change.
The clade Reptilia is one example of a highly successful clade. It
includes living organisms like crocodiles, but also dinosaurs and the
surviving members of the dinosaur clade—birds.
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Patterns of Extinction
Species are always evolving and competing—and some species
become extinct because of the slow but steady process of natural
selection, referred to as background extinction.
In contrast, a mass extinction affects many species over a relatively
short period of time.
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
This graph shows how the rate of extinction has changed over time.
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Patterns of Extinction
In a mass extinction, entire ecosystems vanish and whole food webs
collapse.
Species become extinct because their environment breaks down and
the ordinary process of natural selection can’t compensate quickly
enough.
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Patterns of Extinction
Until recently, researchers looked for a single cause for each mass
extinction.
For example, geologic evidence shows that at the end of the
Cretaceous Period, a huge asteroid crashed into Earth and caused
global climate change. At about the same time, dinosaurs and many
other species became extinct.
It is reasonable to infer, then, that the asteroid played a significant role
in this mass extinction.
Many mass extinctions, however, were probably caused by several
factors working in combination: volcanic eruptions, moving continents,
and changing sea levels, for example.
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Patterns of Extinction
After a mass extinction, biodiversity is dramatically reduced.
Extinction, however, offers new opportunities to survivors. As speciation
and adaptation produce new species to fill empty niches, biodiversity
recovers.
This recovery takes a long time—typically between 5 and 10 million
years. Some groups of organisms survive a mass extinction, while other
groups do not.
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Rate of Evolution
How fast does evolution take place?
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Rate of Evolution
How fast does evolution take place?
Evidence shows that evolution has often proceeded at different rates for
different organisms at different times over the long history of life on Earth.
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Gradualism
Gradualism involves a slow, steady
change in a particular line of descent.
The fossil record shows that many
organisms have indeed changed
gradually over time.
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Punctuated Equilibrium
The pattern of slow, steady change does not always hold.
Horseshoe crabs, for example, have changed little in structure from the
time they first appeared in the fossil record.
This species is said to be in a state of equilibrium, which means that the
crab’s structure has not changed much over a very long stretch of time.
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Punctuated Equilibrium
Punctuated equilibrium is the term
used to describe equilibrium that is
interrupted by brief periods of more
rapid change.
The fossil record reveals periods of
relatively rapid change in many
groups of organisms.
Some biologists suggest that most
new species are produced during
periods of rapid change.
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Rapid Evolution After Equilibrium
Rapid evolution may occur after a small population becomes isolated
from the main population. This small population can evolve faster than
the larger one because genetic changes spread more quickly among
fewer individuals.
Rapid evolution may also occur when a small group of organisms
migrates to a new environment. That’s what happened with the
Galápagos finches.
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Rapid Evolution After Equilibrium
Mass extinctions open many ecological niches, creating new
opportunities for those organisms that survive. Groups of organisms that
survive mass extinctions evolve rapidly in the several million years after
the extinction.
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Adaptive Radiation and Convergent
Evolution
What are two patterns of macroevolution?
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Adaptive Radiation and Convergent
Evolution
What are two patterns of macroevolution?
Two important patterns of macroevolution are adaptive radiation and
convergent evolution.
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Adaptive Radiation
Studies often show that a single species or a small group of species has
diversified over time into a clade containing many species.
These species display variations on the group’s ancestral body plan.
They often occupy different ecological niches.
These differences are the product of adaptive radiation, an
evolutionary process by which a single species or a small group of
species evolves over a relatively short time into several different forms
that live in different ways.
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
This diagram shows part of the adaptive
radiation of mammals.
This diagram shows part of the adaptive radiation of mammals.
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Adaptive Radiation
An adaptive radiation may occur when species migrate to a new
environment or when extinction clears an environment of a large
number of inhabitants.
A species may also evolve a new feature that enables it to take
advantage of a previously unused environment.
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Adaptive Radiations in the Fossil Record
Dinosaurs flourished for about 150 million years during the Mesozoic
Era. The fossil record documents that during this time, mammals
diversified but remained small.
After most dinosaurs became extinct, however, an adaptive radiation
began and produced the great diversity of mammals of the Cenozoic
Era.
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Modern Adaptive Radiations
Both Galápagos finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers evolved from a
single bird species.
Both finches and honeycreepers evolved different beaks and different
behaviors that enable each of them to eat different kinds of food.
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Convergent Evolution
Sometimes groups of organisms evolve in different places or at different
times, but in similar environments. These organisms start out with
different structures, but they face similar selection pressures.
In these situations, natural selection may mold different body structures
in ways that perform similar functions. Because they perform similar
functions, these body structures may look similar.
Evolution produces similar structures and characteristics in distantlyrelated organisms through the process of convergent evolution.
Convergent evolution has occurred often in both plants and animals.
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Convergent Evolution
For example, mammals that feed on ants and termites evolved five
times in five different regions as shown in the figure below.
They all developed the powerful front claws, long hairless snout, and
tongue covered with sticky saliva that are necessary adaptations for
hunting and eating insects.
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Coevolution
What evolutionary characteristics are typical of coevolving species?
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Coevolution
What evolutionary characteristics are typical of coevolving species?
The relationship between two coevolving organisms often becomes so
specific that neither organism can survive without the other. Thus, an
evolutionary change in one organism is usually followed by a change in the
other organism.
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Coevolution
Sometimes, the life histories of two or more species are so closely
connected that they evolve together.
The process by which two species evolve in response to changes in each
other over time is called coevolution.
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Flowers and Pollinators
Coevolution of flowers and pollinators is common and can lead to
unusual results.
For example, Darwin discovered an orchid whose flowers had a 40centimeter-long structure called a spur with a supply of nectar at the
bottom. Darwin predicted that some pollinating insect must have some
kind of feeding structure that would allow it to reach the nectar. Darwin
never saw that insect.
About 40 years later, researchers discovered a moth with a 40centimeter-long feeding tube that matched Darwin’s prediction.
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Plants and Herbivorous Insects
Plants and herbivorous insects also demonstrate close
coevolutionary relationships.
Over time, many plants have evolved bad-tasting or poisonous
compounds that discourage insects from eating them.
Lesson Overview
Patterns and Processes of Evolution
Plants and Herbivorous Insects
Once plants began to produce poisons, natural selection on
herbivorous insects favored any variants that could alter,
inactivate, or eliminate those poisons.
Milkweed plants, for example, produce toxic chemicals. But
monarch caterpillars not only can tolerate this toxin, they also can
store it in their body tissues to use as a defense against their
predators.