New York State Chemistry RegentsNew York State Earth Science Regents

Evolution: Change Over Time
Living Environment Regents June 2006 Question 71 PDF Print E-mail


Correct Answer: Option1 selection for favorable variations

This is natural selection. It is a process that causes helpful traits (those that increase the chance of survival and reproduction) to become more common in a population and causes harmful traits to become more rare. This occurs because individuals with advantageous traits are more likely to reproduce, meaning that more individuals in the next generation will inherit these traits. Over many generations, adaptations occur through a combination of successive, small, random changes in traits, and natural selection of the variants best-suited for their environment

If the environmental conditions were the same as that of the ancestor, then there is most like very slight changes from the characteristic of the common ancestor. Thus, option 2 is incorrect.

Option 3 is incorrect. Abnormal mitotic cell division can occur is lifetime of a certain bird however, this cannot be passed on to the next generation because it is just a change of phenotypic characteristic.

Option 4 is incorrect. Changes in characteristics cannot happen in just one lifetime. Evolution occurs gradually through passage of generations depending on the conditions in the environment of the populations.

Living Environment Regents June 2006 Question 69 PDF Print E-mail


Correct Answer: Biological evolution.

Evolution is the change in the genetic material of a population of organisms from one generation to the next. Though the changes produced in any one generation are small, differences accumulate with each generation and over time because substantial changes in the organisms. This process can culminate in the emergence of new species, of which happened to the finches of Galapagos island. Indeed, the similarities between finches suggest that all known species are descended from a common ancestor (or ancestral gene pool) through this process of gradual divergence.

Option 1 is incorrect. Biodiversity is not absent in the situation stated. It was said that there were 14 varieties of finches; therefore, there is biodiversity in the island.

Finches reproduce sexually. The male bird's sexual organs consist of paired testes. The female bird's sexual organs consist of only a left ovary and oviduct. Hence, option 3 is incorrect. Asexual reproduction is the primary form of reproduction for single-celled organisms such the archaea, bacteria, and protists. Many plants and fungi reproduce asexually as well.

Though there is lack of competition in between the finch varieties, this has no direct effect on the variety of finches that arose.

Living Environment Regents June 2006 Question 56 PDF Print E-mail


Organisms tend to adapt to their environment in order to survive. When they encounter the insecticides, the next generations evolve to be better that the previous generations for the population to survive. When they have become resistant to the insecticide, it has no harmful effect to them anymore, thus the population thrives.

Biological control and genetic engineering can be used in replacement for insecticides. Example of GMO is Bt Corn-Bassilus thuringiensis a soil bacterium genetically introduced to make the resistant to corn borer.

Living Environment Regents June 2006 Question 38 PDF Print E-mail


Correct Answer: Option 4 Platyspiza

Bird X has relatively stout and heavy beak (1b); bottom surface of the lower beak is curved (2b); lower edge of the upper beak is mostly flat (3b); thus is Platyspiza.

Living Environment Regents June 2006 Question 02 PDF Print E-mail


Correct Answer: Option 2 E & I

Species E and I both originated from species F. There are most likely more common shared characteristics (synapomorphies) between these two species than the other species given.

Species C originated from species H, while species D from G. Since they have different most recent ancestor, they are not as closely related as E & I. Thus, option 1 is incorrect. This is also the case of options 3.

Option 4 is also incorrect. Though species A is the remote ancestor of all the given species, there have been many diversion from the original characteristic before species F came to existence.


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