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Chapter 15: Tracing Evolutionary History
This activity contains 10 questions.
Earth probably formed _____ years ago, and the first life evolved as early as _____ years ago.
4.5 billion … 3.9 billion
3.9 million … 2.0 billion
6,000 … 6,000
10 billion … 4.5 billion
4.5 million … 3.9 million
Stanley Miller's experiments involved generating electrical sparks (simulating lightning) in a lifeless vessel containing hydrogen gas, water vapor, methane, and ammonia. The result was that _____.
nothing much happened. This confirmed that physical processes cannot produce complex molecules
new life-forms arose in the vessel. This clearly demonstrated that life can arise from nonlife in the proper conditions
cell-like protobionts (spherical lipid membranes) formed. This finding helped scientists model how the first cells arose
amino acids and other complex molecules formed in the vessel. This suggested that many of the organic building blocks of life could have arisen on a lifeless early Earth
bacteria from an outside source soon colonized the vessel due to contamination. This indicated that it is probably impossible to maintain sterile conditions in a laboratory experiment
Which of the options places major events in the history of life on Earth in the proper chronological order from earliest to most recent?
photosynthesis → first prokaryotes → first large life on land → first multicellular eukaryotes
first prokaryotes → photosynthesis → first multicellular eukaryotes → first large life on land
photosynthesis → first multicellular eukaryotes → first large life on land → first prokaryotes
first prokaryotes → photosynthesis → first large life on land → first multicellular eukaryotes
first multicellular eukaryotes → first prokaryotes → photosynthesis → first large life on land
Radiometric dating _____.
is based on the idea that radioactive isotopes from the Earth's core accumulate in fossils as they age
cannot be used to date fossils that are more than about 75,000 years old
is based on the idea that radioactive isotopes decay at a steady rate in fossils and associated rocks
has been discredited as a scientific technique because its accuracy cannot be tested
is based on the principle that younger strata lay on top of older strata
What was Pangaea?
a huge unified land mass that broke up, leading to the formation of the present-day continents
the idea that all life on Earth is related
an animal that was common in ancient seas, but is now extinct
the evolutionary history of a species or broader taxon, often represented by a tree diagram
the theory that crustal plates—and therefore continents—can move relative to one another
Mass extinctions _____.
cut the number of species to the few survivors left today
resulted only from meteor or comet impacts
occur only as a result of human interference in nature
eliminated many species that were lost forever, but also were followed by diversification of the survivors
wiped out land animals, but had little or no effect on marine life
According to the findings of researchers in the field known as "evo-devo," what kinds of genetic changes are required to reshape the body forms of organisms?
New genes must arise that produce new classes of proteins.
There must be one or more mutations that re-create the genome of a past ancestor, leading to formation of a "living fossil" species.
Changes in genes that control development can have big effects by altering the developmental process.
The total number of genes must generally be increased to provide for any increase in an organism's complexity.
Genes have little to do with the body forms of organisms, so we must look elsewhere to explain these changes.
Two species that share similar homologous structures probably _____.
are headed for extinction
evolved from a common ancestor that also had the structure
have adapted to similar environments, and this process accounts for the similarity of the structure
by chance had similar mutations in the past
have a common ancestor at some point in their evolutionary history
Which outgroup could be used in a phylogenetic analysis of relationships among all of the existing families of birds?
a species of bird from one of the existing families that is relatively primitive
a highly advanced bird species that "sets the standard" for other bird taxa
a crocodile or other non-bird descendant of the dinosaurs
Systematic biologists have used a wide variety of traits to reconstruct the phylogenies of particular groups of organisms. Which type of trait can also be analyzed to estimate the divergence times between taxa?
higher biological classification (which order, class, or phylum the two species are in)
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