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Biology Quizzes & Trivia

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Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    Which of the following is a true statement concerning genetic variation?

    • A.

      It is created by the direct action of natural selection.

    • B.

      It arises in response to changes in the environment

    • C.

      It must be present in a population before natural selection can act upon the population.

    • D.

      It tends to be reduced by the processes involved when diploid organisms produce gametes.

    • E.

      A population that has a higher average heterozygosity has less genetic variation than one with a lower average

    Correct Answer
    C. It must be present in a population before natural selection can act upon the population.
    Explanation
    Genetic variation refers to the diversity of genetic material within a population. This variation is essential for natural selection to occur because it provides the raw material for evolutionary change. Without genetic variation, there would be no differences for natural selection to act upon, and therefore, no adaptation or evolution. Therefore, it is necessary for genetic variation to be present in a population before natural selection can act upon it.

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  • 2. 

    In the formula for determining a population’s genotype frequencies, the 2 in the term 2pq is necessary because  

    • A.

      The population is diploid.

    • B.

      Heterozygotes can come about in two ways.

    • C.

      The population is doubling in number.

    • D.

      Heterozygotes have two alleles.

    Correct Answer
    B. Heterozygotes can come about in two ways.
    Explanation
    In the formula for determining a population's genotype frequencies, the 2 in the term 2pq is necessary because heterozygotes can come about in two ways. This means that individuals can inherit the two different alleles from their parents, resulting in heterozygosity. The 2 represents the two possible combinations of alleles that can occur in heterozygotes, contributing to the overall genetic diversity in the population.

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  • 3. 

    During an individual oganism’s lifetime, which of these is most likely to help the organism respond properly to changes in its environment?

    • A.

      Microevolution

    • B.

      Change in allele or gene frequency

    • C.

      Change in gene expression

    • D.

      Change in average heterozygosity

    Correct Answer
    C. Change in gene expression
    Explanation
    Change in gene expression is most likely to help an organism respond properly to changes in its environment. Gene expression refers to the process by which information from a gene is used to create a functional product, such as a protein. By changing the expression of certain genes, an organism can produce different proteins or alter the levels of existing proteins, allowing it to adapt to changes in its environment. This can include responding to changes in temperature, availability of resources, or presence of predators, among other factors.

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  • 4. 

    Which of the following types of reproductive barriers separates a pair of species that could interbreed except that one mates at dusk and the other at dawn?

    • A.

      Temporal isolation

    • B.

      Habitat isolation

    • C.

      Behavioral isolation

    • D.

      mechanical isolation

    • E.

      Gametic isolation

    Correct Answer
    A. Temporal isolation
    Explanation
    Temporal isolation is the correct answer because it refers to a type of reproductive barrier that occurs when two species have different mating times. In this case, one species mates at dusk while the other mates at dawn, preventing them from interbreeding. This temporal difference in mating behavior acts as a barrier and separates the two species, leading to reproductive isolation.

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  • 5. 

    Evolution

    • A.

      Must happen, due to organisms’ innate desire to survive.

    • B.

      Must happen whenever a population is not well-adapted to its environment

    • C.

      Can happen whenever any of the conditions for Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium are not met.

    • D.

      Requires the operation of natural selection.

    • E.

      Requires that populations become better suited to their environments.

    Correct Answer
    C. Can happen whenever any of the conditions for Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium are not met.
    Explanation
    Evolution can happen whenever any of the conditions for Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium are not met. The Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium is a principle that describes the genetic equilibrium in a population where allele frequencies remain constant over generations. If any of the conditions for this equilibrium are disrupted, such as mutations, gene flow, genetic drift, non-random mating, or natural selection, evolution can occur. Therefore, evolution can happen whenever these conditions are not met, leading to changes in the genetic makeup of a population over time.

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  • 6. 

    Over time, the movement of people on Earth has steadily increased. This has altered the course of human evolution by increasing

    • A.

      Nonrandom mating

    • B.

      Geographic isolation.

    • C.

      Genetic drift.

    • D.

      Gene flow

    Correct Answer
    D. Gene flow
    Explanation
    The movement of people on Earth has led to increased gene flow, which is the transfer of genes from one population to another. As people migrate and intermix with different populations, they bring their genetic material with them, leading to the exchange of genes between populations. This increased gene flow has the potential to introduce new genetic variations into populations, which can affect the course of human evolution. Therefore, gene flow is the most fitting explanation for how the movement of people has altered human evolution.

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  • 7. 

    During breeding season, one should expect female house finches to prefer to mate with males with the brightest red feathers. Which of the following terms are appropriately applied to this situation?

    • A.

      Sexual selection

    • B.

      Mate choice

    • C.

      Intersexual selection

    • D.

      All of the above

    • E.

      Only A and B

    Correct Answer
    D. All of the above
    Explanation
    During the breeding season, female house finches preferring to mate with males with the brightest red feathers is an example of sexual selection. This is because the selection of mates based on specific traits, such as bright red feathers, is a form of sexual selection. The term "mate choice" is also applicable in this situation as it refers to the preference of individuals for certain traits in their potential mates. Additionally, intersexual selection is relevant as it involves the selection of mates based on traits that are attractive to the opposite sex, which is the case here. Therefore, all of the above terms are appropriately applied to this situation.

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  • 8. 

    Which of the following statements best summarizes evolution as it is viewed today?

    • A.

      It represents the result of selection for acquired characteristics.

    • B.

      It is synonymous with the process of gene flow.

    • C.

      It is descent of humans from present-day great apes

    • D.

      It is the differential survival and reproduction of the most-fit phenotypes.

    Correct Answer
    D. It is the differential survival and reproduction of the most-fit phenotypes.
    Explanation
    Evolution, as viewed today, is best summarized as the differential survival and reproduction of the most-fit phenotypes. This means that individuals with traits that are advantageous for their environment are more likely to survive and pass on their genes to the next generation. Over time, these advantageous traits become more common in the population, leading to the development of new species or changes within existing species. This concept is known as natural selection and is a fundamental principle of modern evolutionary theory.

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  • 9. 

    Which of the following is most likely to produce an African butterfly species in the wild whose members have one of two strikingly different color patterns?

    • A.

      Artificicial selection

    • B.

      Directional selection

    • C.

      Stabilizing selection

    • D.

      Disruptive selection

    • E.

      Sexual selection

    Correct Answer
    D. Disruptive selection
    Explanation
    Disruptive selection is the most likely to produce an African butterfly species in the wild whose members have one of two strikingly different color patterns. Disruptive selection occurs when extreme phenotypes are favored over intermediate ones, leading to the divergence of a population into two or more distinct forms. In the case of the butterfly species, disruptive selection would favor individuals with either one of the two strikingly different color patterns, resulting in the coexistence of both forms in the population.

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  • 10. 

    Which of the following must exist in a population before natural selection can act upon that population?

    • A.

      Genetic variation among individuals

    • B.

      Variation among individuals caused by environmental factors

    • C.

      Sexual reproduction

    • D.

      Three of the responses are correct

    • E.

      Two of the responses are correct

    Correct Answer
    A. Genetic variation among individuals
    Explanation
    In order for natural selection to occur, there must be genetic variation among individuals within a population. This variation is what allows for some individuals to have traits that are better suited for their environment, increasing their chances of survival and reproduction. Without genetic variation, there would be no differences in traits and therefore no basis for natural selection to act upon.

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  • 11. 

    Frequently, a group of related species will each have a unique courtship ritual that must be performed correctly for both partners to be willing to mate. Such a ritual constitutes a_________ , _________ reproductive barrier.

    • A.

      Mechanical . . . postzygotic

    • B.

      Behavioral . . . prezygotic

    • C.

      Mechanical . . . prezygotic

    • D.

      Temporal . . . prezygotic

    • E.

      Gametic . . . postzygotic

    Correct Answer
    B. Behavioral . . . prezygotic
    Explanation
    A unique courtship ritual performed by related species acts as a behavioral reproductive barrier. This means that the correct performance of the ritual is necessary for both partners to be willing to mate. This barrier occurs before the formation of a zygote, hence it is considered prezygotic.

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  • 12. 

    The recessive allele that causes phenylketonuria (PKU) is harmful, except when an infant’s diet lacks the amino acid phenylalanine. What maintains the presence of this harmful allele in a populations gene pool?

    • A.

      Heterozygote advantage

    • B.

      Stabilizing selection

    • C.

      Diploidy

    • D.

      Balancing selection

    Correct Answer
    C. Diploidy
    Explanation
    Diploidy refers to the presence of two copies of each gene in an individual's genome. In the case of the recessive allele causing PKU, individuals who are heterozygous (having one copy of the harmful allele and one copy of the normal allele) are able to maintain the harmful allele in the population. This is because the harmful allele is masked by the presence of the normal allele, allowing individuals to have a normal phenotype. However, the harmful allele is still present in their genetic makeup and can be passed on to future generations. Therefore, diploidy helps maintain the presence of the harmful allele in the population.

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  • 13. 

    The largest unit within which gene flow can readily occur is a

    • A.

      Population

    • B.

      Species

    • C.

      Genus

    • D.

      Hybrid

    • E.

      Phylum

    Correct Answer
    B. Species
    Explanation
    The correct answer is species. Gene flow refers to the transfer of genetic material from one population to another. The largest unit within which gene flow can readily occur is a species. This is because individuals within the same species are capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring, allowing for the exchange of genetic material. In contrast, individuals from different species are typically reproductively isolated and cannot produce viable offspring, limiting gene flow between them. Therefore, species is the largest unit where gene flow can easily happen.

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  • 14. 

    Natural selection changes allele frequencies because some _________ survive and reproduce more successfully than others.

    • A.

      Alleles

    • B.

      Loci

    • C.

      Gene pool

    • D.

      Species

    • E.

      Individuals

    Correct Answer
    E. Individuals
    Explanation
    Natural selection acts on individuals within a population. Individuals who possess advantageous traits or alleles that increase their chances of survival and reproduction are more likely to pass on these traits to future generations. Over time, this leads to a change in the frequency of alleles within the population, as the individuals with advantageous traits become more prevalent. Therefore, natural selection directly affects the allele frequencies within a population through the differential reproductive success of individuals.

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  • 15. 

    No two people are genetically identical, except for identical twins. The main source of genetic variation among human individuals is

    • A.

      New mutations that occurred in the preceding generation.

    • B.

      Genetic drift due to the small size of the population.

    • C.

      Reshuffling of alleles in sexual reproduction.

    • D.

      Geographic variation within the population.

    • E.

      Environmental effects.

    Correct Answer
    C. Reshuffling of alleles in sexual reproduction.
    Explanation
    The main source of genetic variation among human individuals is the reshuffling of alleles in sexual reproduction. During sexual reproduction, genetic material from two parents combines to form a unique combination of alleles in their offspring. This process leads to the creation of new gene combinations and increases genetic diversity within a population. Unlike asexual reproduction, where offspring are genetically identical to their parent, sexual reproduction allows for the reshuffling and recombination of genetic material, resulting in genetic variation among individuals.

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  • 16. 

    Sexual dimorphism is most often a result of

    • A.

      Pansexual selection.

    • B.

      Stabilizing selection.

    • C.

      Intrasexual selection

    • D.

      Intersexual selection

    • E.

      Artificial selection

    Correct Answer
    D. Intersexual selection
    Explanation
    Sexual dimorphism refers to the physical differences between males and females of a species. Intersexual selection occurs when individuals of one sex choose mates based on specific traits or characteristics. In this case, intersexual selection is the most likely explanation for sexual dimorphism because it involves mate choice based on specific traits, leading to the evolution of distinct physical differences between males and females.

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  • 17. 

    Which of the various species concepts distinguishes two species based on the degree of genetic exchange between their gene pools?

    • A.

      Phylogenetic

    • B.

      Ecological

    • C.

      Biological

    • D.

      Morphological

    Correct Answer
    C. Biological
    Explanation
    The biological species concept distinguishes two species based on the degree of genetic exchange between their gene pools. According to this concept, two organisms are considered to be different species if they are reproductively isolated from each other and cannot produce viable, fertile offspring. This concept focuses on the reproductive barriers that prevent gene flow between populations and emphasizes the importance of reproductive compatibility in defining species.

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  • 18. 

    Dog breeders maintain the purity of breeds by keeping dogs of different breeds apart when they are fertile. This kind of isolation is most similar to which of the following reproductive isolating mechanisms?

    • A.

      Reduced hybrid fertility

    • B.

      Hybrid breakdown

    • C.

      Mechanical isolation

    • D.

      Habitat isolation

    • E.

      Gametic isolation

    Correct Answer
    D. Habitat isolation
    Explanation
    Dog breeders maintain the purity of breeds by keeping dogs of different breeds apart when they are fertile. This is similar to habitat isolation, where different species are physically separated by their habitats and therefore cannot interbreed. In the case of dog breeders, by keeping dogs of different breeds apart, they prevent them from mating with each other and producing mixed breed offspring, thus maintaining the purity of the individual breeds.

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  • 19. 

    Which of the following would a biologist describe as microevolution?

    • A.

      The formation of new species

    • B.

      The extinction of species

    • C.

      Dramatic biological changes, such as the origin of flight, within a taxon

    • D.

      The generation of biodiversity

    • E.

      A change in allele frequencies within the gene pool of a population

    Correct Answer
    E. A change in allele frequencies within the gene pool of a population
    Explanation
    A biologist would describe a change in allele frequencies within the gene pool of a population as microevolution. This refers to the small-scale changes that occur within a population over a relatively short period of time. It involves changes in the frequency of different versions of genes (alleles) within a population, which can be influenced by factors such as natural selection, genetic drift, and gene flow. This type of evolution does not result in the formation of new species or dramatic biological changes, but rather represents the gradual accumulation of genetic changes within a population.

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  • 20. 

    Two species of frogs belonging to the same genus occasionally mate, but the offspring fail to develop and hatch. What is the mechanism for keeping the two frog species separate?

    • A.

      The postzygotic barrier called hybrid inviability

    • B.

      The postzygotic barrier called hybrid breakdown

    • C.

      The prezygotic barrier called hybrid sterility

    • D.

      Gametic isolation

    Correct Answer
    A. The postzygotic barrier called hybrid inviability
    Explanation
    The correct answer is the postzygotic barrier called hybrid inviability. This mechanism refers to the inability of the offspring produced from the mating of two different frog species to develop and hatch successfully. This barrier prevents the two species from interbreeding and keeps them separate. It occurs after fertilization, during the development of the hybrid embryos, leading to their inviability and failure to survive. This mechanism ensures reproductive isolation between the two frog species.

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  • 21. 

    According to the concept of punctuated equilibrium, the “sudden” appearance of a new species in the fossil record means that

    • A.

      The species is now extinct.

    • B.

      Speciation occurred instantaneously.

    • C.

      Speciation occurred in one generation.

    • D.

      Speciation occurred rapidly in geologic time.

    • E.

      The species will consequently have a relatively short existence, compared with other species

    Correct Answer
    D. Speciation occurred rapidly in geologic time.
    Explanation
    The correct answer is "speciation occurred rapidly in geologic time." The concept of punctuated equilibrium suggests that species undergo long periods of stability, or equilibrium, followed by relatively short periods of rapid change, or punctuation. During these punctuations, new species may arise relatively quickly in the geological time scale. This explanation aligns with the idea that the "sudden" appearance of a new species in the fossil record indicates a rapid speciation event that occurred over a shorter period of time in the overall history of the Earth.

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  • 22. 

    Speciation

    • A.

      Occurs at such a slow pace that no one has ever observed the emergence of new species.

    • B.

      Occurs only by the accumulation of genetic change over vast expanses of time.

    • C.

      Must begin with the geographic isolation of a small, frontier population. must begin with the geographic isolation of a small, frontier population.

    • D.

      And microevolution are synonymous.

    • E.

      Can involve changes to a single gene.

    Correct Answer
    E. Can involve changes to a single gene.
  • 23. 

    Which of the following statements about speciation is correct?

    • A.

      The goal of natural selection is speciation.

    • B.

      When reunited, two allopatric populations will interbreed freely if speciation has occurred.

    • C.

      Natural selection chooses the reproductive barriers for populations.

    • D.

      Prezygotic reproductive barriers usually evolve before postzygotic barriers.

    • E.

      Speciation is a basis for understanding macroevolution.

    Correct Answer
    E. Speciation is a basis for understanding macroevolution.
    Explanation
    Speciation is a basis for understanding macroevolution because it involves the formation of new species over time. Macroevolution refers to the large-scale evolutionary changes that occur over long periods, such as the origin of new groups of organisms or major changes in body structure. Speciation is the process by which new species arise, and studying this process helps us understand how macroevolutionary changes occur. By examining the mechanisms and patterns of speciation, scientists can gain insights into the processes that drive the diversity of life on Earth.

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  • 24. 

    In order for speciation to occur, what must be true?

    • A.

      The number of chromosomes in the gene pool must change.

    • B.

      Changes to centromere location or chromosome size must occur within the gene pool.

    • C.

      Large numbers of genes that affect a single phenotypic trait must change.

    • D.

      Large numbers of genes that affect numerous phenotypic traits must change.

    • E.

      At least one gene, affecting at least one phenotypic trait, must change.

    Correct Answer
    E. At least one gene, affecting at least one phenotypic trait, must change.
    Explanation
    For speciation to occur, it is necessary for at least one gene, affecting at least one phenotypic trait, to change. This is because speciation involves the formation of new species with distinct characteristics. These changes can be brought about by alterations in the genetic makeup of a population, which can result in the development of new traits or the modification of existing ones. Therefore, a change in at least one gene is essential for speciation to take place.

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  • 25. 

    Sea urchins release their gametes into the water without courtship. Which of these reproductive isolation mechanisms might operate for sea urchin species?

    • A.

      Behavioral isolation

    • B.

      Gametic isolation

    • C.

      Habitat isolation

    • D.

      Mechanical isolation

    Correct Answer
    B. Gametic isolation
    Explanation
    Gametic isolation is the correct answer because sea urchins release their gametes into the water without any courtship or mating rituals. Gametic isolation refers to the reproductive barrier that occurs when the gametes (sperm and eggs) of different species are unable to fertilize each other. In the case of sea urchins, their gametes are released into the water where they must find each other to fertilize. If the gametes of different sea urchin species are unable to recognize or fertilize each other, gametic isolation acts as a mechanism of reproductive isolation for these species.

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  • 26. 

    Which of the following types of reproductive barriers separates a pair of moth species that could interbreed except that the females’ mating pheromones are not attractive to the males of the other species?

    • A.

      Temporal isolation

    • B.

      Habitat isolation

    • C.

      Behavioral isolation

    • D.

      Mechanical isolation

    • E.

      Gametic isolation

    Correct Answer
    C. Behavioral isolation
    Explanation
    Behavioral isolation is the correct answer because it refers to the type of reproductive barrier that occurs when two species have different mating behaviors or rituals that prevent them from successfully interbreeding. In this case, the females' mating pheromones are not attractive to the males of the other species, indicating a behavioral difference that prevents successful reproduction between the two moth species.

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  • 27. 

    A trend toward the decrease in the size of plants on the slopes of mountains as altitudes increase is an example

    • A.

      A cline

    • B.

      A bottleneck

    • C.

      Relative fitness

    • D.

      Genetic drift

    • E.

      Geographic variation

    Correct Answer
    A. A cline
    Explanation
    A cline refers to a gradual change in a trait or characteristic of a population across a geographic gradient. In this case, the trend of decreasing plant size as altitudes increase on the slopes of mountains is an example of a cline. As the altitude increases, the environmental conditions change, and plants adapt to these changes by reducing their size. This gradual change in plant size along the altitudinal gradient is a clear example of a cline.

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  • 28. 

     Speciation without geographic isolation is called _________ speciation.

    • A.

      Sympatric

    • B.

      Allopatric

    • C.

      Incomplete

    • D.

      Diversifying

    • E.

      Punctuated

    Correct Answer
    A. Sympatric
    Explanation
    Sympatric speciation refers to the formation of new species without the presence of geographic isolation. This means that the populations of the same species are able to diverge and evolve into separate species while living in the same geographic area. This can occur due to factors such as polyploidy, where individuals have multiple sets of chromosomes, or through disruptive selection, where different phenotypes are favored in different parts of the same habitat.

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  • 29. 

    The geographic isolation of a population from other members of the species and the subsequent evolution of reproductive barriers between it and the parent species describes _________ speciation.

    • A.

      Punctuated

    • B.

      Phylogenetic

    • C.

      Sympatric

    • D.

      Allopatric

    • E.

      Biogeographic

    Correct Answer
    D. Allopatric
    Explanation
    Allopatric speciation occurs when a population is geographically isolated from other members of the species, leading to the evolution of reproductive barriers between the isolated population and the parent species. This isolation prevents gene flow and allows for genetic divergence, ultimately resulting in the formation of a new species. Thus, the given correct answer accurately describes the process of speciation through geographic isolation and the subsequent evolution of reproductive barriers.

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  • 30. 

    Most polyploid species arise from

    • A.

      A single diploid parent plant.

    • B.

      A single triploid parent plant.

    • C.

      Single tetraploid parent plant.

    • D.

      The hybridization of two parent species and subsequent chromosome duplications.

    • E.

      The hybridization of a diploid and a tetraploid parent species.

    Correct Answer
    D. The hybridization of two parent species and subsequent chromosome duplications.
    Explanation
    Polyploid species typically arise from the hybridization of two parent species and subsequent chromosome duplications. This process results in an organism with multiple sets of chromosomes, which is known as polyploidy. This can occur when two different species mate and produce offspring with a different number of chromosomes. Over time, the chromosomes duplicate, leading to the formation of a polyploid species. This is a common mechanism of speciation and can result in the development of new traits and adaptations in the polyploid species.

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  • 31. 

    Charles Darwin was the first person to propose

    • A.

      That evolution occurs.

    • B.

      A mechanism for how evolution occurs.

    • C.

      That Earth is older than a few thousand years.

    • D.

      A mechanism for evolution that was supported by evidence.

    • E.

      That population growth can outpace the growth of food resources.

    Correct Answer
    D. A mechanism for evolution that was supported by evidence.
    Explanation
    Charles Darwin was the first person to propose a mechanism for evolution that was supported by evidence. This refers to his theory of natural selection, which he outlined in his book "On the Origin of Species". Darwin provided extensive evidence from his observations and studies to support his theory, including examples of adaptation, variation, and the fossil record. His proposal of natural selection as the mechanism for evolution revolutionized the field of biology and provided a scientific explanation for the diversity of life on Earth.

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  • 32. 

    Sparrows with average-sized wings survive severe storms better than those with longer or shorter wings,illustrating

    • A.

      The bottleneck effect

    • B.

      Disruptive selection.

    • C.

      Frequency-dependent selection

    • D.

      Neutral variation

    • E.

      Stabilizing selection

    Correct Answer
    E. Stabilizing selection
    Explanation
    Stabilizing selection occurs when individuals with intermediate traits are favored over those with extreme traits. In this case, sparrows with average-sized wings are more likely to survive severe storms compared to those with longer or shorter wings. This selection pressure acts to maintain the average wing size in the population, reducing the variation in wing length. Therefore, the sparrows with average-sized wings illustrate stabilizing selection.

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  • 33. 

    Darwin found that some of the species on the Galápagos islands resembled species of the South American mainland

    • A.

      Less than they resembled animals on ecologically similar but distant islands

    • B.

      More than they resembled animals on ecologically similar but distant islands.

    • C.

      Less than they resembled animals in Europe.

    • D.

      Less than they resembled animals from Australia.

    • E.

      Very closely; in most cases, the species from the mainland and the islands were identical.

    Correct Answer
    B. More than they resembled animals on ecologically similar but distant islands.
    Explanation
    Darwin found that some of the species on the Galápagos islands resembled species of the South American mainland more than they resembled animals on ecologically similar but distant islands. This suggests that there is a closer evolutionary relationship between the species on the Galápagos islands and those on the South American mainland, indicating that they share a more recent common ancestor. This finding supports Darwin's theory of evolution and natural selection, as it suggests that species adapt and evolve differently based on their specific environments and geographical locations.

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  • 34. 

    The emergence of many diverse species from a common ancestor that finds itself in a new environment is called

    • A.

      Adaptive radiation

    • B.

      Gradualism

    • C.

      Disruptive selection

    • D.

      Allopatric speciation

    • E.

      Hybridization

    Correct Answer
    A. Adaptive radiation
    Explanation
    Adaptive radiation refers to the process in which a common ancestor gives rise to multiple diverse species in response to a new environment. This occurs when different populations of the same species face different selective pressures and adapt to different ecological niches, resulting in the formation of distinct species. It is characterized by rapid speciation and the development of unique traits and adaptations in each new species.

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  • 35. 

    Given a population that contains genetic variation, what is the correct sequence of the following events, under the influence of natural selection? 1. Well-adapted individuals leave more offspring than do poorly adapted individuals. 2. A change occurs in the environment. 3. Genetic frequencies within the population change. 4. Poorly adapted individuals have decreased survivorship.

    • A.

      2--4--1--3

    • B.

      4--2--1--3

    • C.

      4--1--2--3

    • D.

      4--2--3--1

    • E.

      2--4--3--1

    Correct Answer
    A. 2--4--1--3
  • 36. 

    Which of the following statement about Darwin following the voyage of HMS Beagle is incorrect?

    • A.

      Darwin thought individuals varied

    • B.

      Darwin thought the Earth was a few thousand years old

    • C.

      Darwin thought fossils in a given area were similar to extant species in the same area

    • D.

      Darwin thought organisms were capable of producing many offspring

    • E.

      Darwin thought few offspring of a pair survived

    Correct Answer
    B. Darwin thought the Earth was a few thousand years old
    Explanation
    The statement that Darwin thought the Earth was a few thousand years old is incorrect. Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection was based on the idea that the Earth was much older than a few thousand years, supporting the evidence of geological processes and the fossil record.

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  • 37. 

    If two modern organisms are distantly related in an evolutionary sense, then one should expect that

    • A.

      They live in very different habitats.

    • B.

      They should share fewer homologous structures than two more closely related organisms.

    • C.

      Their chromosomes should be very similar.

    • D.

      They shared a common ancestor relatively recently.

    • E.

      They should be members of the same genus.

    Correct Answer
    B. They should share fewer homologous structures than two more closely related organisms.
    Explanation
    If two modern organisms are distantly related in an evolutionary sense, it means that they have diverged from a common ancestor a long time ago. As they have evolved separately over time, they would have accumulated more genetic differences and developed different traits. Therefore, one should expect that they share fewer homologous structures compared to two more closely related organisms, as the closely related organisms would have had less time to accumulate genetic differences and develop distinct traits.

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  • 38. 

    Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum) and one-seeded juniper (J. monosperma) have overlapping ranges. If pollen grains (which contain sperm cells) from one species are unable to germinate and make pollen tubes on female ovules (which contain egg cells) of the other species, then which of these terms are applicable 1. sympatric species   2. prezygotic isolation   3. postzygotic isolation   4. allopatric species   5. habitat isolation  

    • A.

      1 and 2

    • B.

      2 and 4

    • C.

      1,3,and 6

    • D.

      2,4,and 5

    • E.

      1,2,5,and 6

    Correct Answer
    A. 1 and 2
    Explanation
    The correct answer is 1 and 2. This is because the question is describing a situation where two species have overlapping ranges but are unable to reproduce with each other due to pollen grains from one species being unable to germinate on the ovules of the other species. This is an example of prezygotic isolation, which refers to barriers that prevent the formation of a zygote (fertilized egg). Additionally, the fact that the two species have overlapping ranges suggests that they are sympatric species, which means they inhabit the same geographic area.

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  • 39. 

    Evolutionary trees are properly understood by scientists to be

    • A.

      Theories

    • B.

      Hypothesies

    • C.

      Guesses

    • D.

      Dogmas

    • E.

      Facts

    Correct Answer
    B. Hypothesies
    Explanation
    Evolutionary trees are properly understood by scientists to be hypotheses. This is because evolutionary trees are constructed based on available evidence and are subject to revision as new evidence emerges. They are not guesses or dogmas, as they are based on scientific methods and rigorous analysis. While they are supported by a substantial body of evidence, they are not considered to be absolute facts, but rather the best explanations currently available based on the available data.

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  • 40. 

    . Broccoli, cabbages, and brussels sprouts all descend from the same wild mustard and can still interbreed. These varieties were produced by

    • A.

      Speciation

    • B.

      Artificial selection

    • C.

      Natural selection

    • D.

      Genetic drift

    • E.

      Inheritance of acquired characteristics

    Correct Answer
    B. Artificial selection
    Explanation
    Broccoli, cabbages, and brussels sprouts are all derived from the same wild mustard plant through artificial selection. This means that humans intentionally selected and bred plants with desirable traits over generations to create these different varieties. The process of artificial selection allowed for the development of distinct and diverse cultivars from the original wild mustard plant.

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  • 41. 

    Which of the following best expresses the concept of natural selection?

    • A.

      Differential reproductive success based on inherited characteristics

    • B.

      Inheritance of acquired characteristics

    • C.

      Change in response to need

    • D.

      A process of constant improvement, leading eventually to perfection

    • E.

      Survival of the fittest

    Correct Answer
    A. Differential reproductive success based on inherited characteristics
    Explanation
    The concept of natural selection refers to the process in which individuals with inherited characteristics that are better suited to their environment have a higher chance of surviving and reproducing. This leads to a greater representation of these favorable traits in future generations, while individuals with less favorable traits are less likely to reproduce. Therefore, the answer "differential reproductive success based on inherited characteristics" best expresses the concept of natural selection.

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  • 42. 

    Which of the following represents a pair of homologous structures?

    • A.

      The wing of a bat and the scales of a fish

    • B.

      The wing of a bat and the flipper of a whale

    • C.

      The antennae of an insect and the eyes of a bird

    • D.

      The feathers of a bird and the wing membrane of a bat

    • E.

      The wing of a bat and the wing of a butterfly

    Correct Answer
    B. The wing of a bat and the flipper of a whale
    Explanation
    The wing of a bat and the flipper of a whale represent a pair of homologous structures because they have a similar underlying structure and origin, despite their different functions. Both the wing of a bat and the flipper of a whale share a common ancestor and have adapted to serve different purposes in their respective environments. This similarity in structure suggests a common evolutionary history and indicates that they are homologous structures.

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  • 43. 

    Genetic drift resulting from a disaster that drastically reduces population size is called

    • A.

      Natural selection

    • B.

      Gene flow

    • C.

      The bottleneck effect

    • D.

      Nonrandom mating

    • E.

      The founder effect

    Correct Answer
    C. The bottleneck effect
    Explanation
    The correct answer is the bottleneck effect. The bottleneck effect refers to a sudden and drastic reduction in population size due to a disaster, such as a natural disaster or disease outbreak. This reduction in population size can lead to a loss of genetic diversity and an increase in the frequency of certain alleles. This is because the surviving individuals may not represent the full range of genetic variation that was present in the original population. As a result, the genetic composition of the population after the bottleneck event may be significantly different from the original population.

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  • 44. 

    You are confronted with a box of preserved grasshoppers of various species that are new to science and have not been described. Your assignment is to separate them into species. There is no accompanying information as to where or when they were collected. Which species concept will you have to use?

    • A.

      Biological

    • B.

      Phylogentic

    • C.

      Ecological

    • D.

      Morphological

    Correct Answer
    D. Morphological
    Explanation
    In this scenario, where there is no information about the collection location or time, the most appropriate species concept to use would be the morphological species concept. This concept defines species based on their physical characteristics and appearance. Since there is no genetic or ecological data available, it would be impossible to use the biological or ecological species concepts, which rely on reproductive compatibility and ecological interactions, respectively. The phylogenetic species concept, which considers evolutionary relationships, would also be challenging to apply without genetic information. Therefore, the morphological species concept is the most suitable in this situation.

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  • 45. 

    Which of the following is not an observation or inference on which natural selection is based?

    • A.

      There is heritable variation among individuals

    • B.

      Poorly adapted individuals never produce offspring

    • C.

      Species produce more offspring than the environment can support

    • D.

      Individuals whose characteristics are best suited to the environment generally leave more offspring than those whose characteristics are less well suited

    • E.

      Only a fraction of an individual’s offspring may survive

    Correct Answer
    B. Poorly adapted individuals never produce offspring
    Explanation
    Natural selection is based on the observation that individuals whose characteristics are best suited to the environment generally leave more offspring than those whose characteristics are less well suited. This leads to the accumulation of favorable traits in a population over time. The statement "Poorly adapted individuals never produce offspring" is not an observation or inference on which natural selection is based. In reality, poorly adapted individuals may still produce offspring, but their offspring may have a lower chance of survival or reproduction compared to individuals who are well adapted to their environment.

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  • 46. 

    Although each of the following has a better chance of influencing gene frequencies in small populations than in large populations, which one most consistently requires a small population as a precondition for its occurrence?

    • A.

      Mutation

    • B.

      Nonrandom mating

    • C.

      Genetic drift

    • D.

      Natural selection

    • E.

      Gene flow

    Correct Answer
    C. Genetic drift
    Explanation
    Genetic drift is the process by which random events cause changes in gene frequencies in a population. It has a greater impact in small populations because chance events can have a larger effect on the gene pool. In larger populations, the effects of genetic drift are diluted due to the larger number of individuals. Therefore, genetic drift consistently requires a small population as a precondition for its occurrence.

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  • 47. 

    Which of the following represents an idea that Darwin learned from the writings of Thomas Maithus?

    • A.

      Technological innovation in agricultural practices will permit exponential growth of the human population into the foreseeable future.

    • B.

      Populations tend to increase at a faster rate than their food supply normally allows

    • C.

      Earth changed over the years through a series of catastrophic upheavals.

    • D.

      The environment is responsible for natural selection

    • E.

      Earth is more than 10,000 years old.

    Correct Answer
    B. Populations tend to increase at a faster rate than their food supply normally allows
    Explanation
    Darwin learned from the writings of Thomas Malthus that populations tend to increase at a faster rate than their food supply normally allows. Malthus argued that population growth would eventually outpace the availability of resources, leading to competition for limited resources and a struggle for survival. This idea of population growth and limited resources influenced Darwin's understanding of natural selection and the struggle for survival in the process of evolution.

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  • 48. 

    The original source of all genetic variation is

    • A.

      Natural selection

    • B.

      Sexual reproduction

    • C.

      Independent assortment

    • D.

      Recombination

    • E.

      Mutation

    Correct Answer
    E. Mutation
    Explanation
    Mutation is the correct answer because it is the original source of all genetic variation. Mutations are changes in the DNA sequence that can occur spontaneously or as a result of exposure to certain factors like radiation or chemicals. These changes can lead to new traits or variations in existing traits, which are then subject to natural selection, sexual reproduction, independent assortment, and recombination. Therefore, mutation is the fundamental process that introduces genetic diversity into populations and is the starting point for evolution.

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  • 49. 

    Natural selection is based on all of the following except

    • A.

      Genetic variation exists within populations

    • B.

      The best-adapted individuals tend to leave the most offspring

    • C.

      Individuals who survive longer tend to leave more offspring than those who die young

    • D.

      Populations tend to produce more individuals than the environment can support

    • E.

      Individuals adapt to their environments and, thereby, evolve

    Correct Answer
    E. Individuals adapt to their environments and, thereby, evolve
    Explanation
    Natural selection is the process by which individuals with favorable traits are more likely to survive and reproduce, passing on those traits to future generations. This process is based on several factors, including genetic variation within populations, the tendency of the best-adapted individuals to have more offspring, and the advantage of individuals who survive longer in leaving more offspring. However, the statement that individuals adapt to their environments and, thereby, evolve is incorrect. Evolution occurs through the accumulation of genetic changes in a population over time, not through individual adaptation.

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  • 50. 

    A high proportion of the cats on Key West have extra toes (polydactyly). What is the most likely explanation?

    • A.

      High rate of mutation

    • B.

      Founder effect

    • C.

      Bottle neck effect

    • D.

      Directional selection for extra toes

    • E.

      Sexual selection

    Correct Answer
    B. Founder effect
    Explanation
    The most likely explanation for the high proportion of cats with extra toes on Key West is the founder effect. The founder effect occurs when a small group of individuals establishes a new population, and the genetic traits present in this founding group become more common in subsequent generations. In the case of Key West cats, it is possible that the initial cats that settled on the island had a higher incidence of polydactyly, and this trait became more prevalent over time due to limited gene flow with other populations.

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  • Mar 21, 2023
    Quiz Edited by
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    Itsaliciayall8
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