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This set of Biology Multiple Choice Questions & Answers (MCQs) focuses on Evolution Set 1

Q1 | Evidences of evolutionary relationships is found in ______.
  • atmosphere
  • fossils
  • ocean beds
  • rocks
Q2 | Which of the following is not a source of variation in a population?
  • Inherited genetic differences.
  • Differences due to health.
  • Differences due to age.
  • None of the above.
Q3 | Which of the following examples of variation is not important from an evolutionary standpoint?
  • Genetic differences between individual organisms comprising the population.
  • Inherited differences between individual organisms comprising the population.
  • Differences due to diet, health, age or accident that have no affect on an individual's ability to survive and reproduce.
  • A and B.
Q4 | Why is genetic variation important from an evolutionary standpoint?
  • If all organisms were the same, the entire population would be vulnerable to particular pathogens, like viruses.
  • All evolutionary adaptations (e.g. the origin of forelimbs) are the result of the gradual build up of genetic differences between organisms over geologic time.
  • Evolution (at the population level) refers to changes in the frequencies of genes in the population over time.
  • All of the above.
Q5 | Which of the following is an example of genetic variation?
  • Two children have different eye colors.
  • One person is older than another.
  • One person has a scar, but her friend does not.
  • Tod eats meat, but his brother Rod is a vegetarian.
Q6 | Which of the following is an example of environmental variation?
  • Apu is a tongue roller, but his brother Sanjay is not.
  • Marge dyes her hair blue.
  • Homer inherited baldness from his father's side of the family.
  • Patti and Selma have hanging ear lobes.
Q7 | What's the difference between natural selection and sexual selection?
  • Sexual selection occurs during sex.
  • Natural selection is a type of sexual selection.
  • Sexual selection is a type of natural selection.
  • Sexual selection occurs within demes, natural selection does not.
Q8 | What's the difference between genetic drift and change due to natural selection?
  • Genetic drift does not require the presence of variation.
  • Genetic drift does not involve competition between members of a species.
  • Genetic drift never occurs in nature, natural selection does.
  • There is no difference.
Q9 | According to our reading, how did George Cuvier account for extinctions in nature?
  • Extinctions never occur--there are unexplored parts of the globe where organisms that appear to have gone extinct may still live.
  • Extinctions occur when the slow adaptation of organisms over time to their environment is not quick enough to help them respond to changing conditions.
  • Extinctions occur at random, they do not reflect God's will.
  • Extinctions are due to catastrophic events.
Q10 | Why, according to our reading, did Darwin take so long to publish the Origin of Species?
  • Darwin wanted to share his theory as quickly as possible once he returned from his voyage on the Beagle.
  • It took twenty years for Darwin to develop a theory.
  • Darwin suffered from a number of illnesses.
  • Darwin was concerned about the reaction of others to the implications of his theory.
Q11 | In which of the following ways is natural selection not analogous to artificial selection?
  • With natural selection "picking" is due to the fit of an organism with its environment; whereas in artificial selection, the breeder "picks" which organisms will breed.
  • Natural selection depends upon the presence of variation, artificial selection does not.
  • Natural selection occurs within populations, artificial selection does not.
  • There is a limit to how much change can be brought about by natural selection, no such limit exists for artificial selection.
Q12 | Why is the advent of reproductive isolation important from an evolutionary standpoint?
  • When the organisms comprising two populations of a species can no longer interbreed, the flow of genetic material between them stops.
  • It is not important from an evolutionary standpoint. The question is based on a false assumption.
  • Reproductive isolation increases the mutation rate.
  • Reproductive isolation may slow reproduction.
Q13 | If the theory of natural selection is the survival of the fitness, and the fittest are identified as those who survive, why isn't it regarded as a tautology (a statement that is true only because of the meaning of the terms) ?
  • The effect of traits on the fitness of an organism can be assessed independently of whether the organism indeed survives .
  • It is regarded as a tautology - the question is based on a false assumption.
  • There may be some statements in science that are useful even if they are not falsifiable or refutable in principle.
  • A and C.
Q14 | The variation natural selection operates on is due to random mutations. What does this imply about natural selection?
  • Natural selection is also a random process.
  • Natural selection is nevertheless a directed process- the likelihood one variant will be favored in a given environment over another is predictable, even if the origin is not.
  • There is no possibility God could be involved in this process.
  • A, B and C.
Q15 | How was Mendel's work ultimately reconciled with Darwin's theory of natural selection during the evolutionary synthesis in the 1930s and 1940s?
  • Scientists recognized that once one thinks about species as populations, rather than individuals, there is no incompatibility between them.
  • Mendel's theory was replaced by the mutation theory.
  • It was recognized much of the variation we observe in nature is due to recombination, rather than mutation.
  • A and C.
Q16 | Which of the following is the evidence for Darwin's theory of common descent?
  • There are patterns in the fossil record that suggest other species have diverged from a single ancestor species.
  • There are biogeographic patterns in the distribution of species, for instance distinct bird species on an island tend to resemble one another, suggesting a common ancestor.
  • There are common stages in the early embryological development of organisms representing several distinct vertebrate groups.
  • All of above
Q17 | What is the relationship between the wing of a bird and the wing of a bat?
  • They are homologous because they represent modified forms of a trait present in a common ancestor (forelimbs).
  • They are analogous because while each carries out the same function (flight), this trait has arisen independently as a result of convergence (i.e. the common ancestor of both did not have a forelimb that allowed it to fly).
  • A and B.
  • They represent derived homologies.
Q18 | Which of the following is not an example of a macro evolutionary process?
  • One lion species splits to form two lion species over geological time.
  • The same trait evolves independently in two different taxa (e.g. wings in birds and in insects).
  • As a result of their activities, humans drive Dodos (a bird species) extinct.
  • Over a short period of time, the frequency of a single gene declines from 10 to 8%.
Q19 | Which of the following is an example of an ancestral homology?
  • Almost all modern reptiles, birds and mammals have forelimbs, a trait they also share with contemporary amphibians.
  • The first birds and all their descendant species have feathers, a trait that is unknown in any other group.
  • Humans and many insect species have eyes.
  • All of the above.
Q20 | Which of the following is not an example of micro evolutionary change?
  • The dark form of many moth species has increased in areas darkened by pollution.
  • Penicillin resistant forms of bacteria have arisen since the introduction of antibiotics.
  • The proportion of left and right bending moths in cichlid fish remains roughly 50:50.
  • The last American eagle dies off, leading to the extinction of the species.
Q21 | Which of the following are difficult to explain in terms of natural selection?
  • Male peacocks evolve tail feathers that would appear to make them more rather than less vulnerable to predators.
  • Male deer evolve antlers that are not used to defend themselves against predators.
  • A bird issues a warning cry that puts it at greater risk of being noticed by a predator.
  • Some traits appear to have no adaptive value.
Q22 | Which of the following is not an example of a monophyletic taxon?
  • The first fish species and every living organism that looks like a fish .
  • The first mammal species and all its descendants.
  • The first bird species and all its descendants.
  • All of the above.
Q23 | Which of the following are kingdoms?
  • Monera .
  • Protista.
  • Animalae.
  • All of the above.
Q24 | Which of the following must increase over geological time according to evolutionary biologists?
  • Size .
  • Complexity .
  • Speed of evolutionary processes such as mutation.
  • All of the above.
Q25 | Why is similarity misleading when it comes to inferring evolutionary relationships?
  • Organisms that look alike may be very distantly related to one another.
  • Similarities between two species may be due to common descent, without indicating how closely the two are related to one another.
  • A and B only.
  • The presence of a shared derived character state is often misleading when it comes to inferring relationships between species .