The Evolutionary Mechanisms Quiz

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22 Questions

Who were the two individuals who independently conceived the theory of evolution by natural selection?

Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace

What are the four observable facts about living organisms that establish evolution by natural selection?

(1) More offspring are often produced than can possibly survive, (2) Traits vary among individuals with respect to their morphology, physiology, and behaviour, (3) Different traits confer different rates of survival and reproduction (differential fitness), (4) Traits can be passed from generation to generation (heritability of fitness)

What is the basis for heredity in modern evolutionary theory?

DNA molecules that pass information from generation to generation

What are the processes that change DNA in a population?

The processes that change DNA in a population include natural selection, genetic drift, mutation, and gene flow.

What is the last universal common ancestor (LUCA)?

The last universal common ancestor (LUCA) is the common ancestor shared by all life on Earth, including humanity, which lived approximately 3.5–3.8 billion years ago.

How have existing patterns of biodiversity been shaped?

Existing patterns of biodiversity have been shaped by repeated formations of new species (speciation), changes within species (anagenesis), and loss of species (extinction) throughout the evolutionary history of life on Earth.

What is the phenotype and genotype of an organism?

The phenotype is the complete set of observable traits that make up the structure and behavior of an organism, while the genotype is the complete set of genes within an organism's genome (genetic material).

What is the modern evolutionary synthesis definition of evolution?

The modern evolutionary synthesis defines evolution as the change over time in genetic variation.

What are mutations and why are they important for genetic variation?

Mutations are changes in the DNA sequence of a cell's genome and are the ultimate source of genetic variation in all organisms. They can alter the product of a gene, prevent the gene from functioning, or have no effect. Mutations can also introduce extra copies of a gene into a genome, which can provide the raw material for new genes to evolve.

How are new genes generated from ancestral genes?

New genes can be generated from ancestral genes when a duplicate copy mutates and acquires a new function. This process is easier once a gene has been duplicated because it increases the redundancy of the system. Small parts of several genes can also be duplicated and recombined to form new combinations with new functions.

How does sex and recombination contribute to genetic variation and evolution?

Sexual organisms produce offspring with random mixtures of their parents' chromosomes through independent assortment and homologous recombination. This results in new combinations of alleles and increases genetic variation. Sex can also increase the rate of evolution, but it comes with a cost in sexually dimorphic species.

Which process of evolution is responsible for the loss of species throughout the evolutionary history of life on Earth?

Extinction

What is the term for the complete set of genes within an organism's genome?

Genotype

What is the term for the specific location of a DNA sequence within a chromosome?

Locus

What is the term for the different forms of a DNA sequence at a locus?

Allele

Which of the following is NOT a source of genetic variation in organisms?

Natural selection

What is the ultimate source of genetic variation in all organisms?

Mutation

What is the process by which new genes can be generated from ancestral genes?

Exon shuffling

What is the role of sex in increasing genetic variation and evolution?

Sex increases the rate of recombination

Which two individuals independently conceived the theory of evolution by natural selection?

Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace

What are the four observable facts about living organisms that establish evolution by natural selection?

  1. More offspring are often produced than can possibly survive; 2) Traits vary among individuals with respect to their morphology, physiology, and behaviour; 3) Different traits confer different rates of survival and reproduction (differential fitness); 4) Traits can be passed from generation to generation (heritability of fitness)

What is the basis for heredity in modern evolutionary theory?

DNA molecules

Test your knowledge on the process of evolution and its mechanisms with this insightful quiz. Explore topics such as natural selection, genetic variation, and how certain characteristics become more or less common within a population over generations.

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