Evolution Study Guide Essay

Evolution Study Guide Essay

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o Define the following terms:
1. Evolution – a change in the number of times specific genes that codes for specific characteristics occur within an interbreeding population over a period of time.
2. Fossils – preserved remains of organisms that lived long ago, usually in sedimentary rock.
3. Acquired traits – organisms that acquire, not inherit, traits over a period of time and that cannot be passed down to the next generation.
4. Artificial selection – a breeder that selects desired traits for a species and then breeds that species to have those traits.
5. Variation – physical and genetic differences in populations of a species.
6. Adaptation – mutations that help a species or population adapt to their environment; good mutations.
7. Fitness – the traits a species or population has to help them survive in that particular environment.
8. Natural selection – a process by which some organisms (according to their traits) are the most suited to that environment; survival of the fittest.
o List and describe the three observations Darwin made during his journey on the HMS Beagle.
1. Darwin saw on the Galapagos Islands that the same species differed from island to island.
2. Darwin saw that the giant tortoises were well-suited to that environment. Some of the tortoises with rounded shells ate leaves close to the ground, and others stretched their necks upwards to reach the leaves, and since their shells also tilted upwards, this allowed them to stretch their necks that high.
3. Darwin also studied the finches on the islands. At first, he thought they were all different species, but then later realized they were all the same but with some variations in their beaks’ size and shape. He also realized that their beaks we...

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...structures but come from the same lineage, and coevolution is a process in which two species effects each other’s evolution.
o Classification and Phylogenic Tree
1. Classification is when scientists classify organisms in groups such as species, genus, etc. They use a Dichotomous Key to identify these organisms. In the 18th century, Carlos Linnaeus made a system of taxonomy (the ordered division and naming of organisms) that consists of a two-part scientific name called a binomial. The first part of the name is the genus. The second part of the name is special to each species within the genus. Later, the new species is then put in a phylogenic tree to see their evolutionary relationships with other species. A phylogenic tree is a hypothesis to their evolutionary relationships. There is always a common ancestor to all the species/organisms shown in a phylogenic tree.

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