Evolution – study guide


Overview/chapter 22

1.       What was the name of Charles Darwin’s most famous book?  When was it written?  What was he doing in the time between the voyage on the ship Beagle and the publishing of this book?  What did the book contain that made it so influential?

2.       Was evolution an idea that started with Darwin?  Before him, was it a mainstream idea? ..What phrase did Darwin use instead of the word “evolution?” 

3.       Darwin and Lamark both had mechanisms to explain evolution.  How were they similar?  How were they different?

4.       What did Aristotle and Linnaeus say about the fixity of the species?  When did this idea become less popular?

5.       What two people are both credited with the idea of natural selection?  Which island archepelagos were they working in?

6.       What are the Pre-zygotic and post-zygotic barriers to hybridization

7.       What are fossils? What is paleontology?

8.       Be able to explain the differences between the ideas of Cuvier and Lyell.  Which ideas were a greater influence on Darwin?

9.       Who said that acquired traits would be inherited be the next generation

10.   Lyell and Malthus were authors that influenced the thoughts of both Darwin and Wallace.  What parts of Lyell and Malthus’s ideas did the biologist incorporate into their descriptions of natural selection

11.   What role does differential reproductive success play in natural selection

12.   What is Haldane’s rule

13.   What are Allopatric and sympatric speciation?  Which is more common?

14.   What is genetic drift

15.   What are Bottleneck, founders’ effect, island effect

16.   What is the Hardy Weinberg equilibrium model?  Under what conditions does it state that evolution occurs?  When do these conditions occur?

17.   What is cytochrome C used for?  Why do evolutionary biologists study it?

18.   How is mitochondrial DNA different than normal DNA?  Why is mitochondrial DNA  studied by evolutionary biologists? 

19.   In the book On The Origin Of Species, Darwin said what he thought was happening and how this occurred.  Be able to summarize these ideas, and explain what evidence he had collected to support the ideas.

20.   What is artificial selection?  What two things are necessary for this to occur?

21.   Be able to describe Darwin’s four observations and two inferences.

22.   Do individuals or populations evolve?  What does that mean about the ideas of Lamarck?

23.   We have actual experimental evidence of evolution.  Be able to describe Endler’s experiments with guppies.  What happens if you move a group of them from a high predator area to a lower predator area?   What happens if you move a group of them from a low predator population to a high predator population?  What two types of selection are taking place

24.   Be able to explain the relationship between drug resistance in viruses or bacteria and evolution

25.   Does natural selection work on genotypes or phenotypes?  What about sexual selection?

26.   Name three things the fossil record seems to indicate

27.   Be able to explain what a transitional form is.  What are some of the traits that make archaeopteryx transitional?  What are some of the traits that make dorudon transitional?

28.   Be able to define and recognize examples of homology, analogy, convergent evolution

29.   Explain how embryology/ontology can demonstrate homologies that are not seen in adults.  Be able to give examples

30.   What are vestigial traits?  Be able to give examples of this in living and in fossil animals.

31.   Be able to give examples of convergent evolution in plants and animals

32.   What is an endemic species

33.   How can you tell the difference in homology and convergence?  Why does the combination of these two opposites make relationships among species difficult to determine.

34.   Describe the contributions to evolutionary theory made by Linnaeus, Cuvier, Lyell, Lamarck, Malthus, and Wallace

35.   Describe Lamarck’s theories, and explain why they have been rejected

36.   Explain what Darwin meant by “descent with modification”

37.   List and explain Darwin’s four observations and two inferences

38.   Explain why an individual organism cannot evolve

39.   Describe at least four lines of evidence for evolution by natural selection




Chapter 23

1.       What two definitions have been given for “a change in the genetic makeup of a population”

2.       Why are individuals unable to evolve (hint: natural selection)

3.       Does natural selection work on phenotypes or geneotypes? 

4.       Be able to explain where the variation section chooses from originates

5.       What are discrete and quantitative characteristics.  Be able to categorize a trait into one of these two

6.       What are mutations?  Which ones are passed on?  Which ones are not?

7.       What is a frame shift?  What is a point mutation?  What is a silent mutation?

8.       Give a location in a chromosome where a mutation does not matter

9.       Give a type of mutation that changes an amino acid, but in a way that does not matter

10.   Give a type of mutation that changes an amino acid and alters the protein.  Is that always bad?

11.   What organisms (taxa and lifestyle) are rarely rendered sterile by polyploidy and aneuploidy errors

12.   We’ve talked before about gene duplication when it is bad.  When can gene duplication be a good thing?  How does gene duplication make it more possible for evolution to occur

13.   Why do single stranded viruses evolve so quickly?

14.   What are two ways that sexual reproduction produces new gene combinations?  How important are gene combinations?

15.   What five conditions must be happening for a population to not evolve?  Who’s mathematical formula describes this?

16.   Be able to give three factors that affect allele frequency

17.   What do these terms mean:  genetic drift, founder’s effect, genetic bottleneck:  What do these processes do the allele frequencies?  What do they do to genetic diversity

18.   Why can low genetic diversity be a problem for a species

19.   Does natural selection work on geneotype or phenotype

20.   What is “relative fitness” (hint: keeping score)

21.   Be able to explain what diversifying/disruptive selection, stabilizing selection, balancing selection, and directional selection are

22.   What is “adaptive evolution” and what process causes this?  Name some processes that do NOT cause it

23.   What are intersexual and intrasexual selection?  What is the “good gene hypothesis”


25.   What is a gene pool?  What does it mean if we say a gene is “fixed” in a population

26.   Explain why the majority of point mutations are harmless

27.   Explain how sexual recombination generates genetic variability

28.   Define the terms population, species, gene pool, relative fitness, and neutral variation

29.   List the five conditions of Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium

30.   Apply the Hardy-Weinberg equation to a population genetics problem

31.   Explain why natural selection is the only mechanism that consistently produces adaptive change

32.   Explain the role of population size in genetic drift

33.   Distinguish among the following sets of terms: directional, disruptive, and stabilizing selection; intrasexual and intersexual selection

34.   List four reasons why natural selection cannot produce perfect organisms


Chapter 24

1.       be able to define: speciation, microevolution, macroevolution

2.       what things do biologists compare when grouping organisms

3.       be able to define the Biological Species concept.  Who first described this?  When does it NOT work?

4.       What is reproductive isolation? 

5.       Be able to give examples of pre and post zygotic barriers to hybridization.  If given a barrier, know which category it belongs to

6.       What is Haldane’s rule.  In mammals, which gender of a hybrid is more likely to be sterile?

7.       What is a morphological species?  What is a morph?  What is a phlogenetic species

8.       What is are allopatric and sympatric speciation?  Be able to list the possible causes of each

9.       What are polyploidy and autoploidy

10.   What is sexual selection

11.   What is a hybrid zone

12.   What is gene flow?  When does it increase fitness?  When does it decrease fitness?

13.   Know what punctuated equilibrium is!!!!!!


Chapter 25

1.       Be able to describe the Urey-Miller experiments?  What chemicals did they make?  What sugar did other people make in similar experiments?

2.       What type of animal is more likely to be preserved as a fossil

3.       What is radiometric dating

4.       Be able to list the geologic eras and periods in order (minor detail, maximum of one or two questions on this topic)?  What is special about the Cambrian period?

5.       What is endosymbiosis?  What evidence do we have for it?

6.       How many major extinctions to paleontologists believe are represented in the fossil record?  What is the K-T boundry?

7.       What is continental drift?  How is it related to biogeography?  What type of speciation does it affect?

8.       What is adaptive radiation?  When does it appear to occur?  Be able to give two examples of regional adaptive radiation

9.       What two sorts of changes in developmental genes can cause major changes in body form or feature

10.   What are paedeomorphism and heterochrony

11.   What are homeotic genes?  Name some body features that are controlled by homeotic genes.  Know the name of at least one homeotic gene

12.   What is an exaptation

13.   Briefly describe the Cambrian explosion

14.   Explain how continental drift led to Australia’s unique flora and fauna

15.   Describe the mass extinctions that ended the Permian and Cretaceous periods

16.   Explain the function of Hox genes

17.   Define radiometric dating, serial endosymbiosis, Pangaea, heterochrony, exaptations and paedomorphosis

18.   Describe the contributions made by Oparin, Haldane, Miller, and Urey toward understanding the origin of organic molecules

19.   Explain why RNA, not DNA, was likely the first genetic material