Evolutionary Biology Spring 2011 Study Questions

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The following study questions are designed to help you think about the lecture material. They are not comprehensive questions. Exam material is NOT limited to the topics in study questions and will not follow this format.

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Lecture 1 (Jan 20, 2011)

What is speciation?

What are three ways relationships among organisms can be depicted or described?

What is homology?

Explain how the Permian Mass Extinction had a large effect on the diversity of life on Earth. How did that extinction influence the diversity of life present on Earth now?

Describe three different patterns in the diversity of life that evolutionary biology seeks to explain.

Lecture 2 (Jan 25, 2011)

Give an example of the fit between an organism and its environment.

Why do we focus on genetic differences in studying evolutionary change?

Suppose you observe that the average weight of squirrels on campus is greater than their average weight on Horsebarn Hill. Give an example in which this difference in weight is the result of an evolutionary change. Given an example in which this difference is not the result of an evolutionary change. Describe an experiment you could do to determine whether the difference is due to an evolutionary change or not.

What is the relationship between Mendelian genetics and population genetics?

What are the variables used to describe the genetic composition of a population?

In general terms, what genotype frequencies are expected under the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium?

What happens to genotype frequencies in a population under Hardy-Weinberg equilbrium? What happens to allele frequencies?

Hardy-Weinberg practice: try the Pdficon small.gif problems here to get practice with describing the genetic composition of a population and determining Hardy-Weinberg proportions.

Lecture 3 (Feb 3, 2011)

While studying anole lizards you observe that some lizards are more green in color (found mainly on tree leaves) while others are more brown in color (found mainly on tree trunks). In order for this phenotype to be an evolutionary change what must be the source of variation? How could you test to see the source of this phenotype variation?

Why do we use allele and genotypes frequencies instead of the number of gametes or individuals in a population?

How many generations does it take for a population to establish genotype frequencies in HWE (Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium) given all the assumptions are met?

Why does population size matter when studying population genetics?

What effect does genetic drift have on: (a) genetic variation (b) genotype frequencies (are they in Hardy-Weinberg proportions or not? Do they change from generation to generation?)

What does it mean when an allele has ‘been fixed’ or ‘gone to fixation’ in a population?

HWE assumes that there is no new genetic mutations. However, all new genetic variation occurs through mutation. Why do we mostly ignore this assumption violation?

You observe the genotype frequencies of a cow population for 2 generations. The allele frequencies and genotype frequencies do not change. Is this population in HWE? Why or why not.

Lecture 4 (Feb 8, 2011)

Which assumption of the HWE do both mutation and migration violate and why?

If an A allele has a frequency of 0.95 in a population, will this always fixed through drift? What is the probability the A allele will be fixed?

What is migration in an evolutionary sense and why is it important for understanding evolution in populations? Give an example of migration and explain its effects on allele frequencies.

In the Continent to Island Migration model, it is assumed that the frequency of the continent allele, pc, stays the same. Why is this a reasonable assumption?

How can you calculate the allele frequency of an island population after 1 generation of migration?

Why is it important to consider the effects of migration and drift together?

How many migrants does it take to keep populations from diverging? Why is this the same for small and large populations?

What factor(s) affects the rate of homogenization of allele frequencies when populations are connected by migration?

What is the effective population size, Ne, and what is an ideal population?

Lecture 5 (Feb 10, 2011)

What happens to genetic variation, allele frequencies, and genotype frequencies as a result of inbreeding?

What are the different types of non-random mating?

How can you tell the difference between inbreeding and assortative mating?

What is the most extreme form of inbreeding?

How does inbreeding generally decrease fitness?

Inbreeding generally occurs in smaller populations. What other evolutionary change have we studied that also affects small populations more than large ones? How are they similar and how do the two differ on their affect genotype frequencies in the population?

There are many species of plants that are obligate selfers (they can only reproduce with themselves). Why do you think that this is a successful strategy for these plants? (Think about the effects of inbreeding and fitness)

Why are inbred lines of model organisms (e.g. Drosophila, mice, C. elegans) often used in biomedical research?

How does inbreeding depression affect populations? Give an example of a real example of inbreeding depression.

Lecture 6 (Feb 15, 2011)

What are the 3 premises of the theory of evolution by natural selection?

What is the difference between natural selection and evolution by natural selection?

What HWE assumption does natural selection violate?

Why is the relative number of offspring more important when considering an organism’s fitness than the absolute number of offspring?

What is Fisher’s Fundamental Theorem and why is it important?

What does w symbolize and how is it calculated?

Calculate the mean fitness of the population of flies we used in our example, and show that the change in allele frequency results in an increase in the mean fitness of the population. (Hint: you'll need to keep track of quite a few decimal places to see the effect.)

If the most fit genotype is heterozygote in our fly example, why does natural selection lead to the decrease of heterozygotes in the entire population?

How do you calculate genotype frequencies and allele frequencies before and after selection?

How do natural selection and genetic drift affect phenotypes? Give an example of when genetic drift and natural selection could be acting on a population.

Lecture 7 (Feb 17, 2011)

What is a fitness landscape? What are the axis labels?

Which genotype is most important for predicting a population’s future?

What does a fitness landscape look like for genetic drift?

What is the evolutionary consequence of directional selection?

What is the effect of the starting allele frequency on its fate under directional selection?

How does a trait’s dominance influence its fate in a population?

How do drift and directional selection act on a population together? How does this interaction change with population size? How does this interaction depend on the strength of selection?

What is the evolutionary consequence of stabilizing selection? How can you predict the equilibrium allele frequencies?

What do you predict is the evolutionary consequence of disruptive selection?

Lecture 8 (Feb 22, 2011)

What are the three types of selection covered in lecture and what is the relative fitness of heterozygotes for each type?

Which type of selection has an outcome that is dependant on the starting frequency of allele A?

In the example given today for disruptive selection, the minimum fitness occurred when the allele A frequency was 0.35. Why isn’t the fitness minimum always at an allele A frequency of 0.5, since this maximizes the proportion of heterozygotes in the population?

In a population experiencing evolution as a result of disruptive selection, how would you expect observed genotype frequencies to compare to those expected under Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in zygotes? What about in adults?

What is the effect of drift on a small population under stabilizing selection? Predict how a plot of Freq of A vs. generation would change with stronger or weaker selection.

What is phenotypic plasticity?

In Endler’s guppies, why doesn’t drift provide a convincing explanation for the patterns of variation observed in nature?

What were the two kinds of selection that were acting on the guppy populations to produce the color/spot patterns observed in nature? How was this determined?

What are the differences between quantitative and Mendelian traits?

What are the three consequences of traits being determined by multiple loci?

Give two different scenarios in which natural selection is happening, but there is no evolutionary response to this selection.

Suppose a population has a normal distribution of some trait, the trait is heritable, and only members with above average trait values were allowed to reproduce. What would the trait distribution look like in the following generation?

Lecture 9 (Feb 24, 2011)

What is the phenotype of an organism dependent on?

How is heritability defined? What are two different ways you could measure it?

If phenotype has a normal distribution and only individuals with above average traits reproduce. The trait is heritable and after one generation the average of the trait is larger than in the original population. What would the graph of number of individuals vs. phenotype value look like before and after reproduction?

What do R and S stand for and how do you calculate them?

If h^2 = 0 then what is variation in the phenotype a result of?

A selection event occurs in a population allowing only some of the individuals to survive. The average trait value of the survivors are different than the original population. You know the heritability of the trait and calculate S and R. What happens to the mean trait value in the next generation relative to the original population's mean trait value when R is positive? negative?

What do the fitness landscapes for directional, stabilizing and disruptive selection look like when multiple loci contribute to a phenotype? How do these fitness landscapes differ from their single-locus counterparts? In the multi-locus case, explain how the same fitness landscape could give rise to directional or stabilizing selection, depending on the initial distribution of phenotypes in the population.

Even though natural selection leads to an increase in the mean fitness of populations, it does not always result in a population that has maximum fitness. Explain why not.

Lecture 10 (March 1, 2011)

Why does a heritability only apply to the environment in which the estimate was made?

How is sexual selection different from non-random mating?

What are intrasexual and intersexual selection? Give an example of each.

What is the common consequence of sexual selection in a population?

What is sexual dimorphism? Give a real life example not covered in class.

What are the three explanations for the evolution of female preference?

Could the Bird of Paradise courtship display that we watched in class be a result of the direct phenotypic benefit explanation to female preference? Could it be a result of the other two explanations of female preference?

In the Runaway Sexual Selection explanation why does the female preference become more common in the population?

What factors have likely been responsible for divergence in Ensatina? In general, what factors tend to promote divergence of populations? What factors tend to prevent divergence? What evidence is there that color pattern is adaptive in Ensatina?

What evidence is there that drift plays a role in evolutionary divergence?

Why is Ensatina treated as a single species even though the southern forms are reproductively isolated from each other?

How could gene flow occur from the southernmost inland population to the southernmost coastal population if there is no reproduction between these two populations? (Hint: what other populations are they exchanging genes with?)

Part II: Mar 15-May 5, Dr. Simon

Exam questions will largely be taken from the study guide, hence the large number of questions. The format of the questions may change (e.g., a question that asks you to list criteria might be changed into a matching or multiple choice question, etc.). If you can’t find the answers in your lecture notes, check the text book!

Lecture 11 (March 15, 2011)

Which of the following is false? Populations may be… a) Allopatric, b) parapatric, c) sympatric, d) allochronic. Explain your answer.

Do all characters vary concordantly (in parallel) with latitude? Do they all vary with geography? Explain.

Give an example of a step cline and explain why phenotypes vary among populations.

Give an example of a gradual cline.

List three reasons for clines.

Which of the above reasons does not involve selection on the trait in question?

Explain how secondary contact between two formerly isolated populations could result in a cline that is stable over time.

What is the updated genetic definition of race?

According to Darwin, were subspecies evolutionary dead ends?

During what decades of the 20th Century did the modern synthetic field of evolutionary biology originate?

Do the named subspecies of rat snakes correspond to the definition of genetic race/subspecies that we discussed in class?

Explain the evidence compiled by Lewontin (1972) and Nei and Roychoudhury (1972), Rosenberg et al. (2002) and Li et al. (2008) that suggested that race was an artificial concept in humans.

Define ring species and explain what they illustrate about geographic variation, gene flow, and genetic variation?

Why is the ADH locus in Drosophila a particularly compelling example of selection correlated with an environmental trait?

What four factors determine the success of mating?

What three major categories did we use to describe “factors that reduce gene flow” in natural populations of organisms?

Give two example of pre-mating factors that reduce gene flow in each of the following categories: spatial isolation, temporal isolation, behavioral isolation. What three examples of allochronic isolation did we discuss?

Define: aggressive mimicry. What two examples did we discuss?

What is the lock and key hypothesis?

What are the four stages at which egg and sperm union (zygote formation) can fail?

Lecture 12 (March 17, 2011)

True or False? The more distantly related two species, the less likely they are to produce viable hybrid offspring.

What are three reasons for post-mating genetic incompatibility?

Lee and Vacquier (1992) sequenced the sperm binding protein in seven species of abalone. After comparing the DNA sequences among all species they found more differences among species at second positions in the active sites of proteins than at third positions. What does this result imply? Does selection at this locus verify that this trait evolved in response to selection favoring mating within species (selection against hybridization)? Explain.

Is it usual to find more second than third position codon changes when comparing proteins of closely related species? Why or why not?

Are reproductive proteins in general faster or slower evolving than other proteins? Is it a general rule that in the active site of reproductive proteins evidence of natural selection will nearly always be found?

What is Haldane’s Rule?

What is Wolbachia? How does it influence sterility?

For each major species concept that we discussed in class know the definition, the advantages and the problems.

In practice what is the most common species concept to be applied in a large biodiversity study?

In a detailed study of a specific group of organisms, the most common and useful species concept to apply is the phylogenetic species concept. This is done via a phylogenetic analysis of morphological and/or molecular data. Why would the biological species concept be impractical in this case?

What are the four categories of speciation mechanisms that we used to organize our class discussion?

Define vicariance speciation and give a real or hypothetical example.

Lecture 13 (March 22, 2011)

What are the four categories of speciation mechanisms?

Spatial speciation mechanisms can be divided into what three categories?

In allopatric speciation, how does speciation by vicariance differ from founder effect speciation?

How does the founder effect work to encourage speciation?

Explain what type of speciation led to >50 species of Hawaiian honeycreeper.

What conditions are necessary for parapatric speciation to occur?

Give a possible example of parapatric speciation.

Define sympatric speciation. What conditions does it require?

Define host-race speciation and give an example.

How did gradual allochronic change evolve in true fruit flies of the genus Rhagoletis?

Why do chromosomal mutations reduce fertility of the individuals carrying them?

Explain how translocations reduce the fitness of heterozygotes.

The tree frog Hyla versicolor is believed to have evolved from Hyla chrysoscelis by what mechanism?

What is very unusual about the species H. versicolor and how do the “biological” and “phylogenetic” speciation concepts apply to this case?

Peter and Rosemary Grant studied hybrids two species of Darwin’s finches on the Galapagos Islands. Which species were involved and what happened to the overall fitness of hybrid offspring over many generations?

In periodical cicadas, what trait is involved in reproductive character displacement?

Higgie et al. 2000. were able to experimentally generate reproductive character displacement in two species of Australian Drosophila in the laboratory. What trait was selected for and how many generations did it take to achieve displacement?

Define gene flow:

How could gene flow and recombination in hybrids work against the reproductive character displacement needed to achieve speciation via reinforcement?

What are the four possible consequences of secondary contact?

Lecture 14 (March 24, 2011)

What is introgression?

How is introgression demonstrated in New Zealand cicadas in the genus Kikihia?

Rieseberg studied the hybrid speciation of sunflowers. What experiments did he do to show that there was good evidence for selection for co-adapted allele complexes in the hybrid species Helianthus anomalus?

Define Systematics.

What is a natural classification? A non-natural classification?

How are evolutionary trees similar to hierarchical classification schemes?

What are the major designations of hierarchical classification (in the Linnean system you were shown in class)?

Why can determining relationships among organisms be difficult? Give specific examples for each reason?

Define the following terms


Character state-

Symplesiomorphic character state-

Synapomorphic character state-






Are the sucking mouth parts in cicada and mosquito homologous? What is the evidence?

What type of homoplasy does comparing North American placental animals to Australian marsupials demonstrate?

How can a phylogenetic tree help to recognize homoplasy?

Explain how a synapomorphy at one node can be a symplesiomorphy for descendant taxa at shallower nodes of the tree.

What type of homoplasy do cave animals typically demonstrate?

What is the main difference between parallelism and convergence?

What famous terms did Haeckel coin?

Give two synonyms of “phylogenetic tree.”

In addition to morphological character, what other kinds of characters are used to construct phylogenies?

Lecture 15 (March 29, 2011)

What kind of data/evidence can be used to construct phylogenies?

What number of possible rooted trees exist for three taxa/sequences?

Draw a tree that has a polytomy. Draw a tree that is fully resolved. Draw a reticulated tree.

Define the following terms by drawing them on a phylogenetic tree: bifurcation trifurcation multifurcation branch root terminal node internal node monophyletic

Define the following terms in words: MRCA taxon monophyletic

Know that a phylogenetic tree can be swiveled at any node. How does this fact relate to the concept of sister group?

Why is it misleading to call a living group “primitive”?

Why is it wrong to claim that humans are descended from chimps?

A branch of a phylogenetic tree can be longer than another branch for two reasons what are they?

How do population and species trees look different?

What are the two components of a phylogenetic tree?

What two general classes of methods are available for building trees from DNA data?

Name the three major character-based methods for constructing phylogenetic trees.

What is an outgroup and what is it used for?

Why are reptiles considered to be an "artificial" or "unnatural" grouping?

Why are computer algorithms necessary for examining relationships among more than five taxa?

How does a clock-like tree differ from a non-clock-like tree? Why?

Be able to map character state changes onto a phylogenetic tree and know how to count steps (see Problem Set 4).

Lecture 16 (March 31, 2011)

List the advantages of molecular data for phylogenetic analysis:

What is PCR and why is helpful for phylogenetic analyses?

Does DNA data guarantee the correct phylogeny? Why or why not?

Do substitutions occur at random along the length of a gene? Why or why not? Where would you expect to see substitutions in rRNA, tRNA, and mRNA genes?

How does the rate of DNA substitution vary within genes, among genes/gene regions?

Why does the rate of DNA substitution vary along the length of a gene and among genes and gene regions?

True or False: RNA loops (unpaired regions) evolve faster than RNA stems (paired regions). Explain your answer.

What is a synonym for shared ancestral polymorphism?

Explain how random inheritance of shared ancestral polymorphisms can result in a misleading phylogeny.

Is misleading evolutionary reconstructions by random inheritance of shared ancestral polymorphisms more likely if successive speciation events are close together in time or if successive speciation events are far apart in time? Explain.

Does the entire human genome support the following phylogeny? ((human, chimp)gorilla) Why or why not?

Why are transitions more common than transversions?

Draw a diagram showing all possible substitutions from one base to another and label transitions versus transversions.

How do DNA mutations differ from DNA substitutions?

What are the assumptions of the Jukes-Cantor model of evolution?

Lecture 17 (April 5, 2011)

Who first proposed the molecular clock idea and when?

What is the main assumption behind the molecular clock idea?

How are molecular clocks calibrated (name two different types of data that can be used for calibration)?

What problems are associated with attempting to use molecular clocks?

How does the rate of evolution of mitochondrial DNA sequences vary between endotherms and ectotherms (Explain how this is related to metabolic rate).

Diversity of Life questions- You are expected to know this material for the exam

What are the three major divisions (domains) of life?

Looking at the Balduf et al. 2003 tree of Eukaryotes: how are plants, animals, various types of algae and fungi related to the various protist lineages?

If given the simplified evolutionary tree of animal phyla, be able to pinpoint the following major events in evolution: the origin of two embryonic tissue layers, the origin of three embryonic tissue layers, the origin of the mouth and digestive cavity, the origin of an bilateral symmetry, the two origins of the anus, the two origins of the coelom, the protostome versus deuterostome lineage, etc. etc.

What two conflicting synapomorphies made it difficult to determine whether annelids were more closely related to mollusks or to Arthropods (before the application of DNA data)? Explain how the states for each of the two characters are mapped onto the alternative hypotheses.

What are the ecdysozoa?

Lecture 18 (April 7, 2011)

Which phyla belong to the Deuterostomia?

Be able to recognize the major extant Echinoderm classes: starfish/seastars, brittlestars, sea cucumbers, sea urchins/sea biscuits, sand dollars and crinoids.

What are unique characters for this phylum?

List the synapomorphies for the phylum Chordata.

What are the three subphyla of Chordata? List representative animals from each subphylum.

From what structure are jaws hypothesized to have arisen in vertebrates?

Name the classes of vertebrates and list their synapomorphies.

Approximately when did fish appear in the fossil record?

There are two subclasses of mammals? Prototheria, Theria. Prototheria contains monotremes and Theria is divided into two infraclasses: Metatheria (Marsupials) and Eutheria (Placental mammals) List the synapomorphies of Prototherias, of Eutherians, and of Metatherians. .

Which Order of mammals is sister to the Order Primata?

Lecture 19 (April 12, 2011)

Define serial homology and explain how it relates to segments of insects and their ancestors.

Explain the two major ways traits can be modified for new functions.

What is a pseudogene?

We looked at several ways in which gene regulation could act: genes turned off, modification of the amount of a gene product, and modification of the relative timing expression of different genes. Give one example of each and provide a few words of explanation.

What are the 3 population genetic explanations for the loss of a structure?

What is D'Arcy Thompson known for?

What is the Turing diffusion model and why is it important?

How did Raup explain the evolution of shell-shape in mollusks?

Define Allometry.

Major differences between human and chimp cranial shape are due to allometric growth of different bones in the skull. Describe the major allometric differences.

Define heterochrony

Define paedomorphic. peramorphic.

True or False. Humans are paedomorphic with respect to chimps.

True or False. King crabs are paedomorphic with respect to hermit crabs

True or False. Coconut crabs are peramorphic with respect to hermit crabs

True or False. Hermit crabs are peramorphic with respect to king crabs.

Define atavism. Give three examples of an atavistic mutations.

Lecture 20 (April 14, 2011)

Lecture 20 Study questions

What is the ABC model of flower development and how does it work?

What is Dollo’s law and why is it important?

What is a homeotic gene and what functions do they perform?

Why was the discovery of the homeotic genes so exciting to scientists?

The distal-less gene functions in the elongation of limbs and other body appendages (give examples). It has also been co-opted for a very different function in butterflies. What is this function?

What is the difference between “cis-regulation” and “trans-regulation.”

Are the genes eyeless and Pax-6 homologous? What experiment showed they share the same function in distantly related animals?

What is modularity and what are the two hypothesized ways it can form in a system?

Explain how locomotion has been modularized in the evolution of birds compared to other reptiles.

What are the different levels of a trait that can be assessed for homology?

Is eye formation in vertebrates, cephalopod, mollusks and cnidarians homologous? List similarities and differences in eye structures.

Are the gene regulatory networks for eye formation in fruit flies and frogs homologous?

If you administered Pax-6 genes to the embryo of eyeless animals like nematodes, would they form eyes?

If you administered Pax-6 genes to the embryo of eyeless mutant Drosophila, would they form eyes?

If you administered Pax-6 genes to eyeless blind cave fish would they form eyes? (If you don’t know, argue several evolutionary scenarios.)

Which phyla have members that have evolved eyes?

Questions from the text:

Describe how physical, selective, genetic, and developmental constraints might each affect evolution.

Explain how evolutionary constraints have influenced the evolution of bovid horns versus cervid horns.

Lecture 21 (April 19, 2011)

Why isn't the Geological Record divided into equal time intervals with evenly spaced eras & periods?

What are three pieces of evidence that suggest that current life on earth is monophyletic?

Was the first replicating life form thought to be DNA or RNA?

Name Earth’s major eras and the aproximate years before the present they occurred.

What evidence for animal life exists in the geological record prior to the Ediacaran fauna?

What is the age of: the earth? ______. the oldest fossil prokaryote? ______. the oldest eukaryote fossil? ______.
Oxygen in the atmosphere from photosynthesizing bacteria? _______

What is a stromatolite?

The Ediacaran fossils from Australia contained animals primarily of what phylum?

The importance of the 570 million year old animal embryos (slightly younger than the Ediacaran fauna) is that they contained clear fossil of segmented worm embryos. Explain why this is important in changing the view of the Ediacaran fauna.

What is the Burgess shale? Why was it so important? Why so well preserved? What animal phyla were represented and how was this different from the Ediacaran fauna?

What other major fossil find of early Cambrian age contains many fossils similar to the Burgess Shale?

Were all fossils in the Burgess Shale assignable to modern phyla? Were the species in the Burgess shale, a) all relatively common, b) some rare, some common, c) all species were rare.

To what phylum do the species Pikaia, and Haikuichthyes, belong?

Horseshoe crabs appeared in the Ordovician more than 450 Mya and look very similar to horseshoe crabs today. Graduate student Bruce Riska studied geographic variation in morphological traits over the east coast of the US. How did morphological variation in these “living fossils” compare to variation in other species that are more recently evolved?

Know the time of the beginning of the Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic and the major events of each time period.

The glaciers in the late Precambrian were thought to have occurred in three major periods in at least one of which the earth was entirely covered in slush, ice and/or snow. This theory is called “Snowball Earth” and is thought to have triggered what event in the evolution of life?

What is the importance of finding the Tiktaalik fossils in animal evolution?

Tiktaalik can flex in three important places: name these and state their importance.

How does Tiktaalik differ from lobe finned fish morphologically?

What are conodonts?

What was the generic name given to the first vascular plant and in what geological period was it found?

The first evidence of land plants was fossil trilete spores. In what period did they appear and what was the approximate age of these spores?

What animals fossils (Phylum Animalia) are the first evidence of terrestrial animal life on land? What is the earliest hexapod fossil? What fossil from what period suggested that winged insects may have evolved in the Silurian?

What is unusual about the fin construction of osteolepiform fishes like Eusthenopteron?

The sistergroup of tetrapods is: a) lungfish, b) lobe-finned fishes, c) too close to call?

How tall were the tallest Devonian horsetails?

Lecture 22 (April 21, 2011)

Amphibians originated in the Devonian, and were diverse in the Carboniferous. Were crown group frogs present in the Carboniferous?

What is the earliest evidence for hexapods (insects) and at what time period was it found?

When did stem-group mammals first appear? What do we mean by stem group?

What transitions in the bones of the head are seen as a nice chain of intermediate steps in a variety of synapsid reptiles leading (over time) to in mammals.

The very tall forests of the Carboniferous (Mississippi and Pennsylvania) were made up of what kinds of plants?

What was the first time period in which multiple insect orders could be found (> five).

Permian glaciers were located where? They provided Wegner with evidence for what theory (published in his 1929 book)?

Fossils of the seed fern Glossopteris, the terrestrial reptiles Lystrosaurus and Cynognatuhs, and the freshwater reptile Mesosaurus, were important in the recognition of continental drift because they are found on what Gondwanan continents:

At what time period boundary do you find the larges of the marine mass extinctions?

Know the time of origin of seeds, the time of origin of plants with seed coats and flowers (angiosperms) versus plants with naked seeds (gymnosperms). Be able to recognize the names of the major groups of gymnosperms.

During what time period were gymnosperms dominant?

During what time period did the Angiosperms radiate?

List the convergent adaptations for flight of pterosaurs and birds.

Which of the following are not in the dinosaur lineage: pterosaurs, ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, ornithischians, pelycosaurs, saurischians, phytosaurs, modern birds, archosaurs, therapods, sauropods, Archaeopteryx, Therapsids.

Pterosaurs are found in what period(s) of the Mesozoic?

From which of the major lineages of Mesozoic dinosaurs did modern birds arise: Ornithischia or Saurischia?

Gymnosperms dominated the Mesozoic (although many origined in the Paleozoic). Which of the following are not gymnosperms? Angiosperms, Ginko, Cycad, Podocarps, Pines, Gnetum, Ephedra, horsetails, clubmosses, wiskferns, mosses, liverworts, ferns.

Which of the following are not vascular plants? Angiosperms, Ginko, Cycad, Podocarps, Pines, Gnetum, Ephedra, horsetails, club mosses, wisk ferns, mosses, liverworts, ferns.

When did flowering plants first appear in the fossil record?

List the traits that are similar in Archaeopteryx and therapod dinosaurs.

List the traits that are different between dinosaurs and Archaeopteryx.

List the traits that are different between Archaeopteryx and modern birds.

Describe Mesozoic mammals compared to Cenozoic in general terms.

Which of the mass extinctions was the only one to have a major effect on land vertebrates? What hypothesis for its cause is best supported at present? What is the evidence?

Were dinosaurs declining prior to the asteroid impact at the K-T boundary? What is thought to have caused their decline?

Lecture 23 (April 26, 2011)

Match the mammals with their superorders by inserting the superorder name in the blanks below: Laurasiatheria, Euarchontoglires, Xenartha, Afrotheria.

________________ sloth, anteater, armadillo ________________ rodents, rabbits, tree shrew, lemur, primates ________________ elephants, manatee, aardvark, elephant shrew, tenrec ________________ whales, hippos, pig, cow, tapir, rhino, horse, cats, dogs, pangolin, bats, hedgehog, shrew, mole

Most fossil mammals are found in the Cenozoic but based on molecular phylogenies, most mammal lineages appear to have evolved in the __________________.

True or False? Mammals’ average body mass increased from the Mesozoic to the Cenozoic.

If you could take a time machine ride back to the Eocene which of the following would be impossible? (circle all the impossible vacations) A) lounging under swaying palm trees in Greenland; b) cross-country skiing in Antarctica or the North Pole; c) a tropical vacation in Montana; d) collecting sand dollars while beach combing at the sea shore; e) taking an ecotour to observe early primates swinging through the trees and bats flying from caves.

Explain why the opening of the Drake Passage and a drop in global CO2 caused the climate to go from greenhouse to icehouse. Describe the climate changes that took place in the southern hemisphere after this event in Antarctica, and Australia/South Africa/Southern South America.

Why has the shape of New Zealand changed over time?

In New Zealand there was a massive marine transgression in the last Oligocene (23 Mya), much of the modern biota has colonized since that time. Which two taxa are the best candidates for having survived through the drowning?

Name three significant biogeographic/climatic events of the Mid-miocene (15 Ma).

Pangolins are only found in Africa today. Were they always restricted to Africa? If not, where else have their fossils been found?

Fill in the blank with some key dates to remember for the Cenozoic: The beginning of the Paleocene ____; the date of the greenhouse to icehouse transition ____; the date of the mid-miocene climatic optimum ____; the date of the formation of the Isthmus of Panama & the start of the Great American Interchange _____; the beginning and end of the Pliocene and Pleistocene ____-____; ____- ____.

Name two common North American mammals alive today whose ancestors originated in South America.

The climate began to deteriorate during the Pliocene (about 2.6 Ma) and continued getting colder. During Pleistocene glacial and interglacial cycles alternated. What happened to sea level during glacial periods?

What is Wallace’s line? In your answer mention sea level, Australian biota, Oriental biota, deep ocean trench.

Fill in the NAME OR DATE of the geological periods in the empty numbered blanks on the chart below (date refers to beginning of period).

ERA, Period Millions of Years from Start to Present


    Quaternary                        2.6 to present 


      _____________                  ______  

    ________                           145

    Jurassic                           200
    _________                        _____

    _________                          299 


    _________                          359  


    _________                          416


    _________                          444


    _________                          488


   Cambrian                           ______

For the ABOVE chart- list when the following events occurred. (1) radiation of mammals and birds; (2) trace fossils appear prior to animal body fossils (3) fishes diversify; (4) first appearance in fossil record of a diverse array of major animal phyla; (5) first bird (Archaeopteryx); (6) continents aggregated into Pangaea; (7) first vascular plant fossils; (8) First flowering plant fossils; (9) flowering plants (Angiosperms) diversify; (10) dinosaurs diverse during these three periods; (11) forests of giant club mosses; (12) first hexapod in fossil record; (13) first insect fossil, (14) pterosaurs present during these three periods; (15) Gymnosperms dominant; (16) Chimp-Human split; (17) New World vs. Old World Monkey split; (18) most recent series of repeated glacial-interglacial cycles; (19) most beetles, moth/butterfly, and fly lineages diversify,

Name the five divisions of the Tertiary period on the chart below (Paleocene is provided for you) . Fill in the time since the start of the period and then fill in the numbers of these major events: (21) Tropical climate in Wyoming and Paris; (22) Isthmus of Panama forms; (23) transition from greenhouse to icehouse due to opening of Drake Passage; (24) sand dollars evolve; (25) India contacts Asia; (26) Africa contacts Asia; (27) Great American Interchange; (28) the appearance of Australopitecus afarensis (“Lucy” and her relatives); (29) Homo erectus invades Asia; (30) Humans invade North America. [The last two questions are from Lect. 24.]

QUATERNARY Year before present (from start of division)

Recent 10,000

Pleistocene ________


____________           5.3 Ma

____________           23.0 Ma
____________           _______
____________           55.8 Ma				
Paleocene             _________

In the Mammal phylogeny from your Futuyma text, what is the sister group of the entire group ((Humans + Lemurs) + (Tree Shrew + Flying Lemur))?

What six trends in primate evolution did we discuss in class?

Australopithecus afarensis (Lucy) has some ape-like features and some homo-like features. Name three of each.

Describe Ardipithecus ramidus and explain how it resembles hominids and chimpanzees. What is the importance of these fossils?

Lecture 24 (April 29, 2011)

How does increase in body size compare to increase in brain size in fossil Hominids?

What is the age and importance of the following fossils: Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Ardipithecus ramidus, Australopithecus afarensis, Australopithecus sediba, Homo erectus, Homo neanderthalensis, Homo sapiens?

Did Neanderthals and modern humans hybridize?

Explain the difference between the multiregional hypothesis and the “out of Africa” hypothesis for the evolution of modern humans.

According to Dr. Rebecca Cann, all human mtDNA can be traced back to one mother who lived in Africa approximately ____________________ years ago. She lived in a population numbering in the __________________. African mtDNA appears to be the oldest because it is ________________________.

When did Homo erectus first leave Africa? When did they reach Europe?

When did modern humans leave Africa (Homo sapiens)? ________ When did they reach Europe? ___

When did modern humans cross into North America? _______________. Did they reach Asia first or Europe first? How many separate invasions of modern humans have entered North America? By what routes?

By what time is there archaeological evidence for modern humans in South America?

If given a blank map, be prepared to fill in the names of the biogeographic provinces (realms).

The area between Wallace’s line and Weber’s line is known as “Wallacea”, where is it located geographically?

What was the order of break-up of the Gondwanan continents?

A new genus of bird, the Po’ouli, was found in a remote valley of Maui in 1973 by a team of undergraduates. They estimated the population size at 200 individuals. What is the current population size?

Understand the different types of distributions and know at least one example of each.

The plant Saxifraga cernula discussed in your text book has a disjunct distribution on mountain tops in the Nearactic and Palearctic and also at low elevations in Northern North America and Northern Europe and Asia. What was the cause of the disjunction?

List four of the new habitats that have recently been explored and turned up many new species.

What is the source of energy for the bacteria at the base of the chemosynthetic food chain in hot water ecosystems at deep ocean trench rifts? _________ At cold seeps at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico? __________

More Questions
Approximately how many million years ago did Homo erectus leave Africa?

What three types of faunal biota are found in Wallacea?