Evolution Study Guide KEY


Study Guide – Evolution KEY


Who is Darwin and what is he best known for?

British naturalist that came up with the theory of evolution by the means of natural selection.


What type of transportation did Darwin take to go on his journey?

H.M.S. Beagle – ship to the Galapagos


Why are the Galapagos a great Island to show the diversity of evolution?

They were able to find new species every day on each of the islands. Not influenced by humans.


Where did the common ancestor of the finches come from?

Darwin thought that the common ancestor of the finches came from the main land of South America, Ecuador.


Define the following terms: a.

Variation: having different characteristics among the species b.

Adaptation: any heritable trait that helps an organisms rate of survival c.

Fossil: ancient remains of an organism d.

Fitness: what an organism has to live longer and reproduce offspring


What does the phrase “survival of the fittest” mean?

The continued existence of organisms that are best adapted to the environment that enable them to reproduce.


What was the main idea of Darwin’s book On the Origin of Species?

– Species are continuously changing

– No 2 organisms are the same

– Environment effects the adaptation of the organism

– There is a link between each and everyone’s species

– Organisms adapt by means of natural selection



What is the difference between homologous and analogous structures?

– Homologous – same structure but different function. Ex: Human arm, dog’s leg, bat’s wing.

– Analogous – same function but different structure. Ex. Bird wing, bat wing, insect wing


What are vestigial structures?

Structures that no longer serve a purpose. Ex. Tonsils, appendix, goose bumps


What contributions did the following scientists do to influence Darwin? a.

Hutton and Lyell: geologists that explained that things are constantly changing. Discovered that earth is ancient, billion years old b.

Malthus: English economist that explained if organisms grew exponentially they compete for resources, survival of the fittest c.

Lamarck: supported the idea that organisms changed over time, theory of acquired traits. Darwin later explained that this was false d.

Wallace: scientist who came up with the same idea of evolution. He wrote to Darwin and told him about the idea of evolution, pushed

Darwin to publish his book first


What is the difference between natural and artificial selection?

– Natural selection – random selection by organisms in their environment to choose their mate by means of fitness

– Artificial selection – when humans choose the traits and control breeding



Explain Darwin’s theory of descent with modification.

Theory of descent with modification: theory or idea that every species must have descended by reproduction from a preexisting species


Explain how the four pieces of evidence support evolution and give an example of each. a.

Fossil Record: can provide evidence of linkage between ancient organisms. Ex: ancient horse to a modern horse b.

Geographical Distribution: depending on the environment, species have similar qualities based on their environment. Ex: flying squirrel, sugar glider in Australia c.

Homologous structures: same structure but different function based on their environment. Ex: Human arm, whale fin and bat wing d.

Embryology: study of development. Gives hard evidence because we have same traits when embryos. Ex. mouse – human developing


Explain the differences between the tortoises on the Galapagos Islands and why they have these adaptations.

Tortoises have different size necks due to ability to reach different vegetation. Also, their shell shapes are different because of the environmental factors on the different islands


Explain the differences between the finches on the Galapagos Islands and why they have these adaptations.

Finch beaks are different on each island because of the different food that is on each island. They had to adapt to survive