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Evolution is defined as gradual change over time

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Presentation on theme: "Evolution is defined as gradual change over time"— Presentation transcript:

1 Evolution is defined as gradual change over time
Time being one critical element of the definition.

2 Jean Baptiste Lamarck Author of first systematic theory of evolution
Theory on the evolution of acquired characteristics Believed that modifications of form due to environmental circumstances

3 Lamarck’s Theory Use it or lose it
Internal drive toward complexity caused inheritance of acquired characteristics The giraffe’s neck is the classic example

4 Lamarck’s theory At some point in the past, giraffe’s found themselves in an environment where they had difficulty reaching food on the tops of tree. They had to stretch their necks and in doing so, physically lengthened them. This longer neck was passed on to the next generation, who stretched even further, resulting over time in giraffes having long necks.


6 Lamarck’s Theory of Evolution
Inheritance Of Acquired Traits Traits Acquired During Ones Lifetime Would Be Passed To Offspring Clipped ears of dogs could be passed to offspring!

7 Lamarck’s Theory of Evolution
Tendency Toward Perfection Organisms Are Continually Changing and Acquiring Features That Help Them Live More Successfully In Their Environment Example: Bird Ancestors Desired To Fly So They Tried Until Wings Developed

8 Lamarck’s Mistakes Lamarck Did NOT Know how traits were inherited (Traits are passed through genes) Genes Are NOT Changed By Activities In Life Change Through Mutation Occurs Before An Organism Is Born

9 Charles Darwin the Naturalist

10 Charles Darwin The Author of the On the Origin of Species
The most notable evolution theorist of our time Known for his famous voyage on “The Beagle”

11 Charles Darwin Born in England Wealthy, sophisticated English family
1827 dropped out of medical school & entered Cambridge to prep for the clergy Became a meticulous observer of natural phenomena & collector of specimens at 22 was taken aboard HMS Beagle as a naturalist on a scientific expedition around the world Arrived at the Galapagos Islands on September 15th, 1835 5 week stay – was on land 19 days collecting & observing

12 In 1831, the young naturalist Charles Darwin set off on a five-year sail around the world that would profoundly change not just his life, but the course of science as well.  Commissioned to collect samples of flora and fauna from the HMS Beagle’s ports of call, Darwin left England firmly believing, like everyone else, that God had created every living thing on Earth exactly as it appeared.  His specimens told him otherwise, however, and when the Beagle docked in England, core tenets of the theory of evolution had been shaped.  Yet it would be 20 years before he would make his ideas public; Darwin feared that disclosing his radical views would be the equivalent of committing career suicide and was moved to publish only when another scientist independently arrived at the same conclusions as he.  That event sparked a debate that continues to this day.

13 Charles Darwin In 1831 he sailed to the Galapagos Islands in the HMS Beagle He left England on this voyage at 22 yrs. Old He published his theory of evolution 30 years later


15 Darwin returned 5 years later in 1836
Darwin Left England in 1831 Darwin returned 5 years later in 1836

16 13 major islands, 6 minor islands, & 40 smaller rock formations & reefs – 3000 square miles of land covering 17,000 miles of ocean located 600 miles west of Ecuador

17 Galapagos Islands Volcanic in origin – oldest are 325 million years old Hot spot formation theory Still active volcanoes Never connected to the mainlands

18 Galapagos Islands Until their discovery in 1535, life here evolved in isolation producing strange & marvelous species 8 Habitats to accommodate a large variety of species: Open sea Rocky islets Rocky shores Sandy beaches Mangrove coasts Arid zone Transitional zone Highlands

19 Bartolome Island – arid zone

20 North Seymour Island – transition zone

21 Rocky Islets Black Sand Beach

22 Flamingos on the mangrove coasts

23 Rocky shores Red Sand Beach


25 Highlands View atop a inactive volcano

26 Darwin and the Galapagos
He focused evolutionary principles on populations Why were there so many different plants and animals found in the Galapagos?

27 Animals of Galapagos Galapagos Penguins Land Iguana Pink Flamingo

28 Frigate Bird

29 Galapagos Tortoise Tortoise nesting video
There are currently only 11 subspecies Left in the world today.

30 Lonesome George George is a Pinta Island Tortoise
He is the very LAST one known in existence There is a reward of $10,000 offered by the zoo association if a female is found

31 Charles Darwin Research Center
International, nonprofit organization for scientific research, environmental education & conservation Founded in 1959 Captive breeding program for endangered giant tortoises & land iguanas

32 The Boobys Blue Footed booby Red footed booby Masked booby

33 Blue Footed Booby
Mating Dance

34 Waved Albatross

35 Animals of the Galapagos
Sea Lions Sally Lightfoot Crabs Marine iguana

36 Darwin’s Ideas Darwin at 31 Evolution is due to genetic variation and natural selection on heritable characters Recognized natural selection as the mechanism in 1838 Sketch of genetic line

37 Darwin’s 5 Major Theories
1. The organisms steadily evolve over time (evolution theory) 2. Different kinds of organisms descended from a common ancestor (common descent theory) 3. Species multiply over time (speciation theory) 4. Evolution takes place through the gradual change of populations (gradualism theory) 5. The mechanism of evolution is the competition among vast numbers of unique individuals for limited resources under selective pressures, which leads to differences in survival and reproduction (natural selection theory)

38 Weaknesses in Darwin’s natural selection theory
1. Blending inheritance was favoured rather than discrete Mendelian genes (which was unknown at the time) 2. No knowledge of Mendelian genetics was available 3. Phyletic gradualism was favoured as the type of speciation 4. Fecundity (fertility) was not emphasized in the description of fitness 5. Sexual selection: Sexually selected characters were seen as ornaments but they may be advertising genuine male qualities (Hamilton & Zuk, 1982)

39 Evidence used in Darwin’s Natural Selection Theory
1. Biogeography: Distinct features of cosmopolitan species and the presence of endemic species (Darwin's finches: of the 14 finch species of the Galapagos islands, 13 are endemic) 2. Morphology and embryology: Homologous structures among related species; similarities in the embryos of related species Homologous Structure-features that are similar in structure but appear in different organisms and have different functions; offers support for common ancestor Analogous Structure-perform a similar function but are not similar in orgin 3. Palaeontology: Gradual change in the fossil record, evident extinctions 4. Taxonomy and systematics: Morphological similarities among related taxa



42 Vestigial Structures

43 Compare Lamarck & Darwin
Concept of Species Population all same (identical characteristics) capable of transformation during lifetime Population w/similar characteristics, variation common depending on environment. No transformation in lifetime, only through genetic means Mechanism of new species Modified during life & then inherited by offspring. Change directed to meet survival Natural Selection. Variation exists regardless of organisms' needs. Those most fit survive & reproduce Example Giraffe’s neck, fiddler crab Galapagos finch, eyesight of the hawk Potential Proof Adaptations Adaptations, fossil records, homologous structures, biogeographical diversity patterns


45 Natural Selection Darwin is credited with the theory of evolution by natural selection. Natural selection is that the strongest survive and propagate and therefore increase the strength of the species “Survival of the Fittest” Fitness-an organism’s ability to survive & reproduce


47 Darwin Finches Once on the islands, various species established themselves and determined territories Evolution then set in and many unique species, such as Darwin’s finches resulted

48 Darwin Finches and Natural Selection
The finches probably descended from one type of ancestor and due to isolation and through chance, different climates, natural forces, and food type, evolved into the 13 different types of finches

49 Darwin Finches on the Galapagos
1. Small billed ground finch Geospiza fuliginosa 2. Medium billed ground finch Geospiza fortis 3. Large billed ground finch Geospiza magnirostris 4. Sharpbill ground finch Geospiza difficillis 5. Cactus finch Geospiza scandens 6. Large cactus finch Geospiza conirostris 7. Vegetarian finch Platyspiza crassirostris 8. Small tree finch Camarhynchus parvulus 9. Medium tree finch Camarhynchus pauper 10. Large tree finch Camarhynchus psittacula 11. Carpenter finch Cactospiza pallida 12. Mangrove finch Cactospiza heliobates 13. Warbler finch Certhidea olivacea

50 Cactus finch nest

51 The Darwin Finches are the most common birds on the Galapagos Islands and can be seen in the arid and wet zones. Of the 14 species of Darwin Finch in the world, thirteen are found on these islands and the fourteenth species on the Coco Islands. Some populations are commonly found but others such as the mangrove finch which has a population of approximately 100, is only found in one particular area on Isabella Island.

52 Feeding of the Finches some eat fruit and seeds other insects
some can even suck the blood from marine birds on the islands when they can't find their usual food. Certain varieties of finch clean the ticks from the shells of the giant tortoises.




56 Peppered Moths

57 Natural Variation Some cows give more milk
Some plants bear larger fruit Some humans are taller than others Much of this variation is inherited & passed on to the next generation Humans may take advantage of this variation by breeding certain organisms together with the desired trait (artificial selection)

58 Natural selection - Something like artificial selection occurs in nature – called natural selection However, the traits being selected contribute to an organism’s fitness without human control There is always a struggle for existence & the “fitness” of an organism depends on its survival & its reproductive success (survival of the fittest) Example: faster = better predator camouflage behavior better protection from extremes

59 Evidence for evolution by natural selection in contemporary populations:
1. The resistance of the house fly (Musca domestica) to DDT first reported in 1947, 2. The change in the frequencies of differently colored peppered moths with industrial revolution in England 3. The resistance of bacteria to antibiotic drugs

60 Adaptation These changes increase the chance of survival & thus the traits that allow for survival are passed on the next generation

61 Speciation Formation of a new species
As new species evolve, populations become reproductively isolated from each other (they cannot interbreed) called reproductive isolation Behavioral isolation occurs when 2 populations are capable of interbreeding but have differences in courtship rituals & are then not attracted to each other Geographic isolation – 2 populations are separated by geographic barriers such as rivers, or mountains Temporal Isolation occurs when 2 organisms reproduce at different times

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