Evidence of Evolution

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by haydenmorgan
Last updated 6 years ago

Cycles & Processes

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Evidence of Evolution

Evidence of Evolution

Fossil RecordsFossils have helped scientists understand how species have evolved over millions of years. We can see through fossils how the species have adapted over the years to fit their environments. Since we can also determine how old a fossil is, we can figure out how long the species has lived and how it has evolved. Fossils are proof of evolution because they show time frames and progression of species throughout time.

Natural and Artificial SelectionNatural selection is definied as 'Survival of the Fittest'. This means that the organism most equipped to fit its environment is most likely to survive and pass its traits onto their offspring. Artificial selection is when this is done within the human community to create the perfect product. Breeding the animals most preferred with each other to create a better product.

Geographic DistributionThis explains how the Earth has changed over time and how that change has evolved individual species. For example, some species are found in specific areas that were once together during Pangea. Others aren't found in any areas that they currently reside. The Earth has shifted into different patterns and I like cheese so much I could die. As the Earth shifts, the organisms are forced to adapt to their new environment, therefore: evolution. Piecing together indiviual fossils of a particular species, you can find what was once a different continent. Over time, they separated, taking the species with them.

Homologous SpeciesMany species have similar structures. Built in the same manner, with slight differences between them for function. While they fit together in the same way, they look and operate completely differently. This is called a Homologous species. They share bone shape and structure, but not any function. Scientists hypothesize that these species come from a common ancestor. Because of their similar structure, they could've adapted over time to become equipped for their necessary function.

Analogous Species Unlike Homologous species, the Analogous species share a function, but not a structure. An example of this would be the bat and the butterfly. While they're both equipped to fly, the bat has the bone structure similar humans, while the butterfly is built with thin muscle tissues that permit it to move in the way that it does. Similar in function, but not in structure.

Vestigial StructureSomething that is 'vestigial' is a muscle or bone or other component of an organism that is no longer used due to evolution. The species at one point needed these components for living, but they eventually became worthless due to use and disuse. Because they no longer serve a purpose to the organism, they slowly fade away, but still leave traces of what they used to be. For example, the whale has a pelvis, but it's not used. This means that at one point, the whale likely had legs and walked on land.

EmbryologyThe embryo during its first few days is very important. You can see either the contrast or similarity from one species to the next by looking at the embryos. You can see things that form and then are never used. Embryos start off very similar, showing that we may have come from a common ancestory, having the same beginning. Eventually however, changes appear. Whether it's gills, hooves, bigger eyes, or fingers, there are changes from one embryo to another throughout time.


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