Lesson 1 – Principles of evolution
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1. The ideas of Hutton and Lyell that Darwin incorporated into his theory pertained to
a. the age of Earth and gradual change.
b. extinctions evident in the fossil record.
c. adaptation of species to the environment.
d. a hierarchical classification of organisms.
e. the inheritance of acquired characteristics.
2. Which of the following is not an observation or inference on which natural selection is based?
a. There is heritable variation among individuals.
b. Poorly adapted individuals never leave offspring.
c. There is a struggle for limited resources, and only a fraction of offsping survive.
d. Individuals whose inherited characteristics best fit them to the environment will
generally leave more offspring.
e. Organisms interact with their environments.
3. Which of the following would provide the best information for distinguishing phylogenetic relationships between several species that are almost identical in anatomy?
a. the fossil record.
b. homologous structures.
c. comparative anatomy.
d. comparative embryology.
e. molecular comparisons of DNA and amino acid sequences.
4. Darwin synthesized information from several sources in developing his theory of evolution by natural selection. Which of the following did not influence his thinking?
a. Linnaeus' hierarchical classification of species, which could imply evolutionary
b. Lyell's Principles of Geology, which described the gradualness and uniformity of
geologic changes over long periods of time.
c. Mendel's paper describing the basic principles of inheritance.
d. Examples of major changes in domesticated species produces by artificial
e. the biogeographic distribution of species that he observed on the Galápagos
Islands and during his journey around South America.
5. The smallest biological unit that can evolve over time is
a. a cell.
b. an individual organism.
c. a population.
d. a species.
e. an ecosystem.
6. Which of the following ideas is common to both Darwin's and Lamarck's theories of evolution?
a. Adaptation results from differential reproductive success.
b. Evolution drives organisms to greater and greater complexity.
c. Evolutionary adaptation results from interactions between organisms and their
d. Adaptation results from the use and disuse of anatomical structures.
c. the fossil record supports the view that species are fixed.
7. Which of the following pairs of structures is least likely to represent homology?
a. the wings of a bat and the forelimbs of a human.
b. the hemoglobin of a baboon and the hemoglobin of a gorilla.
c. the mitochondria of a plant and those of an animal.
d. the bark of a tree and the protective covering of a lobster.
e. the brain of a frog and the brain of a dog.
8. Lamark would agree with all of these statements except:
a. boa constrictors should have vestigial hind limbs
b. daily stretching will make you and your offspring more flexible
c. bob-tailed cats evolved after several generations of cats had their tails bitten off
d. a man who cuts off his hair will have sons who become bald
e. giraffes got their long necks by stretching
9. Darwin and Wallace both realized that most species produce many more offspring than is necessary to maintain a constant population. What is the fate of the excess individuals?
a. Evolution kills them off.
b. The more favorable reproduce more than the less favorable.
c. They evolve to take advantage of natural resources.
d. It is arbitrary which individuals die.
e. They mutate and then are able to adapt to new environments.
10. If within a large population no mutations occur, no migration occurs, all matings are random and there is no change in the environment, what will happen?
a. extinction will occur
b. natural selection will occur at the normal rate for that species
c. natural selection will occur at a faster rate than before
d. exponential population growth will occur
e. no evolution will occur.
11. Publication date of Darwin's Origin of Species was:
12. What selects traits that will be passed on to the next generation in the greatest frequency?
a. Mendelian genetics
b. random mutations
c. fixed species
d. the environment
e. non-random mutations
13. A population of deer was threatened with overpopulation until cheetahs were imported. After a couple of years there were fewer deer but the average running speed of the deer had increased. This is an example of:
a. inheritance of acquired characteristics
b. induced mutation
c. genetic drift
e. natural selection
14. "No vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end" are the words this geologist used to describe the immense age of the earth.
15. The incorrect theory that "organisms can modify their bodies through use or disuse of parts, and that these modifications can be passed on to their offspring" was formulated by:
16. Lamarck would agree with all of these statements except:
a. Humans should no longer have an appendix.
b. Daily stretching will make you and your offspring more flexible.
c. Bob-tailed cats evolved after several generations of cats had had their tails
d. Your eye color is determined by your parents' eye colors.
e. Snakes should have a pelvic girdle.
17. The English clergyman who wrote that human population "increases in a geometrical ratio" and would soon exceed the earth's capacity to support it was:
18. Both Darwin and Wallace were influenced by Thomas Malthus' writings on:
a. Population growth
e. Natural selection
19. Charles Darwin believed that artificial selection was:
c. A process completely identical to natural selection
d. A common natural phenomenon
e. Similar in many ways to natural selection
20. Which of these statements indicates a problem with the theory of catastrophism?
a. Not all species have been recovered.
b. Many species have become extinct.
c. There are millions of undescribed species in the world.
d. There are no humans in early fossil records.
e. The Earth is billions of years old.
21. Which of the following statements is true?
a. A long distance runner will produce gametes with good genes for running
because their bodies are in such good physical condition.
b. Exercise can have an effect on genes.
c. What a person does during their life can have no effect on their genetic makeup
other than random genetic changes from exposure to chemicals or radiation.
d. Cutting the tails off mice for 100 generations will result in a strain of mice with
genes for short tails.
e. People who are healthy tend to have healthier DNA.
22. The theory of natural selection states that:
a. Some live and some die in each generation.
b. Only the largest and strongest survive.
c. Random assortment of genes results in better characteristics in the following enerations.
d. The best adapted individuals survive and reproduce, contributing the most
genes to the next generation.
e. Individuals that mutate in response to their environment will survive.
23. Natural selection on a trait can only occur if the trait is ______.
e. a new mutation
24. Some of Darwin's most important discoveries were based on studies of birds captured in:
d. The Bahamas
e. The Galapagos Islands
25. Which of these was not included in Darwin and Wallace's theory of natural selection?
b. High reproductive rates
c. Survival of the most fit
d. Organisms striving to become "better"
26. The author of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection is:
27. Darwin and __________ both jointly proposed the theory of evolution by natural selection.
28. The Galapagos Islands visited by Darwin are located where?
a. off the west coast of Australia
b. off the west coast of North America
c. off the west coast of South America
d. near Southeast Asia
e. near the center of the south Atlantic
29. The theory of evolution would predict that human DNA is most similar to that of:
30. Sea squirts and lampreys, both aquatic animals, have the pharynx perforated, a notochord at some stage of development, and a ventral heart. These similarities are best explained by which of these hypotheses?
a artificial selection
b. inheritance of acquired characteristics
c. a common ancestry
d. the same environmental pressures
e. divergent evolution
31. Assume that it is possible to remove continuous cores of rock from the earth 6 inches in diameter and 3000 feet long. The theory of evolution by natural selection would predict what about the fossils in such cores as they are examined from top to bottom?
a. species change gradually
b. the number of fossils decreases but the number of species increase
c. fossil species remain constant
d. ancient fossils resemble modern species
e. there are gaps in the core where no fossils are found
32. Though the term literally means "dug up," today these objects are defined as "any evidence of past life."
c. Occam's Razor
33. The process by which unrelated organisms with similar environmental demands evolve superficially similar structures is:
a. Natural selection
c. Convergent evolution
d. Comparative anatomy
34. Structures (like molar teeth in vampire bats) which are homologous to important structures in other organisms but serve no purpose in the organism being considered are:
35. Fat-insulated streamlined bodies of seals and penguins are superficially similar, although these organisms are not closely related. Such superficially similar structures are:
a. Vestigial structures
b. Homologous structures
c. Genetically similar
d. Developed through convergent evolution
36. When two species evolve in a particular way because of extensive interactions between them, which of these has happened?
a. Convergent evolution
c. Analogous structures have developed
d. Homologous structures have developed
37. Which of the following structures is not homologous to the others?
a. Alligator forelimb
b. Bird wing
c. Human arm
d. Insect wing
e. Bat wing
38. The fossil record indicates that over the last 50 million years the horse has evolved in all but which of the following ways?
a. Tooth structure
b. Leg anatomy
c. Overall size
d. Abundance of hair
e. It has evolved in all these respects.
39. Boa constrictors have tiny pelvic girdles and leg bones within their bodies. Since these structures are nonfunctional, they are called:
40. Evidence which supports the theory of evolution is found in the studies of:
d. Artificial selection
e. All of these
41. Convergent evolution occurs when:
a. unrelated organisms develop analagous structures
b. different species evolve to become one
c. populations merge into one
d. analagous structures evolve to be homologous
e. none of these
42. That whales have pelvic bones indicates...
a. They probably evolved from fish
b. Ancestral whales had legs
c. Whales should have legs
d. Having a pelvis is advantageous
e. Whales did not evolve by natural selection
43. The human appendix which has no known function today is an example of a(n)
a. analogous structure
b. homologous structure
c. vestigial structure
44. Strong evidence for the close relatedness of vertebrates is...
a. they all have legs
b. their means of reproduction
c. the similarity of their embryological stages
d. they all evolved from fish
e. they all possess DNA
45. An example of a vestigial structure is:
a. Fins of fish
b. Vertebral column of snakes
c. Pelvic bones of whales
d. Wings of bats
e. Only choices a, b, and d are correct
46. The evolutionary history of this is well documented over the last 50 million years in the fossil record.
d. peppered moth
47. Mammal appendages with similar bone structures can be used for flying, swimming, running, and grasping. These are examples of __________ structures.
d. artificially selected
48. The many different breeds of domestic dog were produced by:
a. Natural selection
b. Artificial selection
c. Kin selection
e. Divergent evolution
49. An organism's fitness refers to its:
a. physical conditioning
b. size in relation to other members of the population
c. reproductive success
d. competitive ability
e. degree of heterozygosity
50. If the weather in Richmond, Virginia, changed to very cold (snow on the ground 8 months of each year) over the next few years, what change might occur?
a. The cold weather would cause a mutation in squirrels which causes their fur to
b. If a mutation occurred which caused white fur to develop, such white squirrels
would have a better chance to survive and produce more offspring with the
c. Evolution would definitely occur resulting in white squirrels.
d. Natural selection would cause a new genotype to appear in the population,
resulting in squirrels with white fur.
e. Natural selection would not permit such climatic changes.
51. Inheritable mutations, which may allow a population to evolve are produced:
a. By chance
b. As a response to environmental change
c. As a response to selection pressure
d. By coevolution
e. By artificial selection
52. Most commercial pesticides are effective for only 2-3 years. This is because...
a. new pests invade the area
b. the chemicals induce mutations that convey immunity
c. the chemicals mutate
d. the pests learn to ignore the chemicals
e. those pests with advantageous mutations will survive and reproduce
53. A change in the genetic makeup of a population is:
a. Natural selection
c. Artificial selection
e. Genetic drift
54. Which of these is most likely to produce evolutionary change in a population?
a. spontaneous mutations
b. a temporary source of environmental pollution
c. random mutations
d. global warming
e. acquired characteristics
55. A population of grasshoppers in the Kansas prairie has two color phenotypes, green and brown. Typically, the prairie receives adequate water to maintain healthy, green grass. Assume a bird that eats grasshoppers moves into the prairie. How will this affect natural selection of the grasshoppers? How might this change in a drought year?
56. Describe a scenario involving coevolution of a predator and prey. What might you expect when the two species initially co-occur? What about after 20 generations?