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SC.912.L.15.1 Evolution

Nature of Science

Molecular and Cellular Biology

Organisms, Populations and Ecosystems

Classification, Heredity and Evolution

What You Need to Know

  • You need to know how the theory of evolution is supported by evidence from the fossil record, comparative anatomy, comparative embryology, biogeography, molecular biology, and observed evolutionary change. 
  • You need to know trends in hominid evolution from early ancestors to modern humans including brain size, jaw size, language and manufacture of tools.
  • This benchmark will be assessed together with nature of science benchmarks. You will need to draw scientific conclusions based on the evidence or scenario given. 
  • You need to know the differences between a theory and a law and know how a theory is developed over time. 
  • You need to know how specific scientists (Darwin, Lyell, Malthus, Mendel, Wallace) contributed to the theory of evolution. 

Example One

The scientific theory of evolution is supported by different types of evidence. The diagrams below show the skeletons of two different animal species. How does comparing the skeletons of these animals provide support for the scientific theory of evolution?

whale and aligator.jpg

A. It provides information about the organisms' habitats.

B. It shows possible common ancestry between organisms.

C. It provides information to determine the organisms' ages.

D. It shows possible chromosomal similarities between organisms.

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Example Two

According to fossil records, the horses that lived 50 million years ago were much smaller, weaker and slower than modern horses. Which process is most likely responsible for the changes that have led to the increased size, strength, and speed in horses?

A. commensalism

B. inbreeding

C. migration

D. evolution by natural selection

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Example Three

The diagram illustrates an embryonic stage of two organisms.

embryos.jpg

Which of the following can be determined by observing the embryos shown in the diagram? 

A. The organisms share a common ancestry.

B. The organisms belong to the same genus.

C. The organisms are native to the same geographic areas.

D. The organisms will grow into anatomically similar adults.

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Example Four

Scientists have found evidence that about 2.4 million years ago a gene regulating jaw muscles mutated and may have led to the more graceful human jaw we see today. The diagram below shows the skulls of 3 hominid species.

homonid skulls.gif

Which statement below most closely explains the link between jaw size and hominid evolution? 

A. The jaws of hominids evolved to be smaller and less protruding over time. 

B. The jaws of hominids evolved to be larger and more protruding over time. 

C. There appears to be no change in the jaws of hominids over time.

D. The jaws of hominids changed over time due to a change in brain size. 

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Example Five

Scientists are studying the evolutionary history of a group of plants in the United States, and they developed an evolutionary tree, as shown below.

evolutionary tree.png

Which statement can be inferred from the evolutionary tree?

A. Species 1 is most closely related to Species 8.

B. Species 2 is most closely related to Species 3.

C. Species 3 is most closely related to Species 7.

D. Species 5 is most closely related to Species 6.

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Example Six

Scientists are studying the evolutionary history of a group of plants in the United States, and they developed an evolutionary tree, as shown below.

evolutionary tree.png

What information about the organisms best helps the scientists to determine the evolutionary relationships among them?

A. DNA sequences

B. Anatomical features

C. Habitat types

D. Reproductive Strategies

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evolution.jpg
video tutorials.jpg
Crash Course - Evidence of Evolution
Please select a video file.
BozemanScience - Evidence of Evolution
Theory of Evolution in Two Minutes
Please select a video file.
Khan Academy - Human Evolution

In Your Book

General Biology - Chapter 10, pg. 296

Honors Biology - Chapter 16, pg. 378

Additional Activity Links