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ASSESSMENT ANCHOR: BIO.B.3 Theory of Evolution
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BIO.B.3.1 Explain the mechanisms of evolution.
BIO.B.3.1.1 Explain how natural selection can impact allele frequencies of a population.
BIO.B.3.1.2 Describe the factors that can contribute to the development of new species (e.g., isolating mechanisms, genetic drift, founder effect, migration).
BIO.B.3.1.3 Explain how genetic mutations may result in genotypic and phenotypic variations within a population.

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BIO.B.3.2 Analyze the sources of evidence for biological evolution.
BIO.B.3.2.1 Interpret evidence supporting the theory of evolution (i.e., fossil, anatomical, physiological, embryological, biochemical, and universal genetic code).

Anchor Descriptor/ Eligible Content
BIO.B.3.3 Apply scientific thinking, processes, tools, and technologies in the study of the theory of evolution.
BIO.B.3.3.1 Distinguish between the scientific terms: hypothesis, inference, law, theory, principle, fact, and observation.


darwin_01.jpgSect 1: Darwin's Theory - Natural Selection
  • Dispelling the Lamarckian Idea - although Lamarck thought so, giraffe necks DID NOT evolve to be long because they wanted long necks (internal drive) or because they stretched them!
  • Darwinian Natural Selection says that random mutations that just HAPPEN to be beneficial in that specific environmental time are selected for by these organisms being more successful and mating more and thus passing that trait more frequently in to the next generation of organisms!

Read up!

Sect 2: Evidence of Evolution

1. fossil record - organisms in the fossil record show gradual change as we move up through the geologic layers (see book Sect 3: The Fossil Record)


2. homologous anatomy - organisms of different species have anatomical structures that appear to be similar in origin


3. embryonic development - the shear similarity of ALL animals as embryos until differentiation occurs in the cells


4. DNA - genetic sequences lend serious support to the series of changes in DNA that would have lead to random mutations and gradual change of species


The evolutionary origin of the organelle mitochondria. Is it really the end result of a former symbiotic relationship between a eukaryote and a prokaryote that it ATE??? Look left at the idea proposed by scientists


The evolutionary idea that similar selective pressures can produce similar-looking organisms with very different ancestors is known as convergent evolution.
Take dolphins, sharks, and Ichthyosaurs, for example. All three are pursuit-hunters of fish, relying on speed and streamlined bodies to survive, and despite starting off with very different looking ancestors, (a mammal, a fish, and a reptile) all ended up with torpedo-shaped bodies, paired triangular pectoral fins, a single triangular dorsal fin, and double-lobed tail fins.


In the picture to the right, the bat and the bird wings exhibit HOMOLOGOUS anatomy (coming from a common ancestral lineage) while the bee wing exhibits ANALOGOUS(similar functions from totally different recent evolutionary lineages) anatomy to the bird & bat.


1. Charles Darwin
a) Who was he?
b) On what vessel?
c) When did he sail the famous journey?
d) Where did he go?
e) Why is he so renowned in Biology History?

2. In the Galapagos, what did Darwin observe about the diversity of organisms (and what is diversity)?
3. How did fossil evidence play a role in Darwin's theory?
4. What was so special about the finch form & function and what did Darwin suspect?
5. What is the definition of theory in science?
6. What was Darwin's theory? Define evolution:
7. What was the title of Darwin's famous book published after the 1858 work of him and another scientist named Alfred R. Wallace?
9. How does natural selection relate to evolution?
10. What are the cause of VARIATIONS among a species?
11.How do environmental factors play a role in natural selection & evolution?
12. What was wrong with Lamarkian Evolution?
13. What two men proposed ideas on geologic time that shaped Darwin's ideas about change in species?
14. List four major pieces of evidence that support the theory of evolution and explain a little bit about HOW they lend support (8 pts).
15. Compare and constrast the ideas of punctuated equilibria vs. gradualism as they relate to change of species over time.
16. Explain and provide examples for the difference between the terms HOMOLOGOUS structure and ANALOGOUS structure as they relate to evolution. (6 pts)
17. Scientists acutally suspect that the mitochondria in eukaryotes are the result of a previous evolutionary symbiosis between what?
18. What is CONVERGENT EVOLUTION? Give an example. (5 pts)
19. What is meant by ADAPTIVE SUITE in evolution? Give an example. (5 pts)

Pages 199-201
Review and Assessment
Standardized Test Prep

Misconceptions About Evolution are nicely addressed here:


What makes a primate a primate?
  • mammals
  • forward facing eyes (binocular vision)
  • opposable thumbs (grasping)


BEHOLD>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>THE ORDER of the PRIMATES



Fossils and Migration Patterns in Early Hominids Map Activity

Introduction: Discoveries of fossil hominids around the world have helped scientists to determine not only a likely origin for the human species, but also a migration path throughout the world. Until the 1920's, Asia had been considered the "birthplace" of humans. Yet one man stood alone in his conviction that Asia was not the birthplace of humankind. This man was Louis S. B. Leakey. For several decades he searched the weathered desert slopes of Olduvai Gorge, looking along what had been the shores of an ancient lake once vital to the survival of many prehistoric animals. Eventually, his hunch paid off and his heretical views were confirmed with fossil evidence of early hominids, early members of humankind. Since then, other fossil hominids have been found by many other paleoanthropologists throughout much of the world. It is the type, dates, and distribution of these fossil specimens that gives us an indication of where humankind's earliest ancestors had migrated and originated.
Purpose:Using a knowledge of geography and mapping skills, students will determine the location of a sampling of fossil hominids to infer a continent of origin and a likely path of migration from that point of origin.
Procedure:Examine the data below and plot each coordinate. Though this list is not an exhaustive list of all fossil hominid discoveries, it is accurate in terms of general trends of distribution and density within given regions. Mark your map by using the code: "Blue dot" for Austalopithecines, "Red dot" for Homo erectus, "Green dot" for Homo sapiens neadertalensis, and "Black dot" for early modern Homo sapiens sapiens. Place the dots directly on your map or use different colored pushpins (choose one color for each of the four taxonomic groupings below) for a large, classroom map . Then answer the discussion.

Data:-- fossil taxon (age in millions of years ago): location in degrees east or west longitude and north or south latitude, and name of site)

Australopithecines (3.5 -1.4 mya):
38°E :1°S Chemeron, 27°E: 27°S Sterkfontein, 43°E: 8°NHadar, 37°E: 4°S Olduvai, 36°E:5°°S Laetoli, 36o°E:7°N Omo, Kromdrai 26°E:26°S, 28°E:25°S Magapansgat, 27°E: 27°S Swartkrans, 38°E:4°N Koobi-Fora

Homo erectus (1.6 -.3 mya) 112°E:38°N Zhoukoudian, 112°E:8°S Modjokerto 18°E:18°N Yayo, 7°W:34°N Rabat, 38°E:4°N Koobi-Fora, 6°W:35°N Sale, 13°E:47°N Mauer, 27°E: 27°S Swartkrans, 27°E: 27°S Sterkfontein, 43°E: 8°NHadar, 37°E: 4°S Olduvai, 36°E:7°N Omo

Homo sapiens neandertalensis (.13 -.03 mya) 36°E:33°N Amud, 110°E: 7°S Solo, 8°E:32°S Saldanha, 27°E:14°S Broken Hill, 68°E:41°N Teshik-Tash, 5°W: 35°N Gibralter, 44°E:36°N Shanidar, 2°W:52°N Swanscombe, 11°E:47°N Steinheim, 7°E: 52°N Neandertal, 34°E:45°N Kiik-Koba, 5°W: 32°N Jebel-Irhoud

Early modern Homo sapiens sapiens ( .1 - .02 mya i.e.Cro-magnon): 38°E:50°N Sungir, 3°E:43°N Lascaux, 18°E:48°N Predmost, 70°E: 62°N, 36°E:35°N Tabun,30°S:24°E Florisbad, 138°E:34°S Lake Mungo, 115°E:1°N Niah, 112°E: 38°N Zhoukoudian, 137°E:38°N , 99°W: 19°N Tepexpan, 75°W:2°N Punin, 120°W:44°N Marmes, 100°E:54°N, 70°E:23°N, 108°E:27°N, 32°E:27°S Border Cave, 35°E:32°N Jebel Qafzeh, 44°W:18°S Lagoa Santo, 88°W:32°N Natchez, 102°W:32°N Midland, 81°W: 27°N Vero Beach

1.How many years ago is .3 million years?. .02 million years?_.
2. Why have scientists concluded that Africa is the "birthplace" of humanity?
3.Find a fossil and write its type (taxon) and map coordinates for each of the following locations below:
a. China -
b. United States -
c. Mexico -
d. Australia -
e. Brazil-
f. Java -
g. Germany -
h. Ethiopia -
i. Iraq-
j. South Africa-
4.Which fossil taxon seems to have the earliest wide distribution throughout much of the old world? How did they get to these places? Pick two sites that are widely separated and infer the relative age of each specimen. (Which one is older than the other and explain your reasoning.)
5.Neanderthal seems to be most prominent in which area of the old world?
6.Early modern Homo sapiens sapiens were the first hominids to enter into which continent(s)? Choose one and infer a possible path of migration.
7.Where is the greatest coexistence between Neandertals and early modern Homo sapiens sapiens likely to have occurred? Explain how this may have contributed to the extinction of Neandertals.
8.Describe the overall migration pattern of humans and prehuman ancestors based on the data that you plotted on the map.
9. How long would it take you to hike from Ethiopia to Java? Why is it unlikely that Homo erectus made the journey in the same amount time? (Show your calculations)
Answer the next two questions after reading an article like How Man Began. TIME. March 14, 1994 and/or viewing a video like Children of Eve. (NOVA) .
10. Do the data plotted seem to support the Out of Africa ("Eve") hypothesis or the Multi-regional origin of modern humans? Justify your reasoning.
11. Why would an accurate chronometric age for all fossil specimens be important in the formulation of your answer to question #7?

What separates the HUMANOID HOMINIDS from other great apes?
  • bipedal (upright walking on two feet)
  • foramen magnum directly below the brain


Earliest known hominids
4 mya
Australopithicus afarensis


2 mya
Homo habilis
"Handy Man"


1.6 mya
Homo erectus

1) According to the phylogeny tree at the left, which species of hominid was the last common ancestor to ALL hominids that ever lived? When did it live?

2) According to the phylogeny tree, is Paranthropis boisei a direct ancestor to Homo sapiens or just a previous relative?

3) According to the phylogeny tree, is Homo heidelbergensis a direct ancestor to Homo sapiens or just a previous relative?

4) According to the phylogeny tree, is Homo ergaster a direct ancestor to Homo sapiens or just a previous relative?