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Arch 131 Lecture 2

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ARCH 131
Dennis Sandgathe

ARCH131: Week 1 Evolution and Natural Selection 2.1 History of Evolutionary Theory: The only thing that was constant was change. Fixated Species? Extinct Species? Domestic Animal Breeds? Variation within species: a lot more variety in the world – Linnaeus called them morph-opines Incredible variations: There are greater range of insects than any plants or animals; world is far more complex than for those in past centuries John Ray (1627-1705): species concept (and Genus) Linnaeus (1701-1778): taxonomy and binomial nomenclature; believed in fixated species but acknowledged the similarities between humans and great apes George Buffon (1707-1788): “Species adapt slightly to new conditions” Lamark (1744-1829): “Inheritance of acquired characteristics” Charles Darwin (1809-1882): Grew up in household where evolution was talked about but focussed on a biblical framework due to school; he was wealthy and free to do whatever he wanted. Established an interest for natural world − Joined the Voyage of the Beagle (1832-1836): Went around the world to fill in gaps in maps − Was not a naturalist yet; Darwin collected samples of plants/fossils and books sent to him − was hyper aware about the biological world around him; the correlation between the fossil record and living organisms within a region: Made a lot of famous observations at the Galapagos islands (ie. Finches/tortoises) − Each finch/tortoise type had ecologically different niches based on which island they are from − He suspected over the generations; tortoises and the cacti had a race of growth: tortoises grew long necks to get the cacti and the cacti grew taller trying to void off the tortoises − Megaterium: Extinct species of south American sloth ; Glyptodon: extinct relative of armadillos Evidence for Evolution: Increasing complexity of organisms; Geologists/paleontologists analyze fossils in alps/gradient layers which proves evolution occurred 2.2 Evolutionary Theory: Should be called theory of natural selection; theories are never proved to be true Fundamental Premises of Natural Selection: 1. More offspring are produced by a species than can be supported by naturally available food sources (not all species can become mature) Thomas Malthus (1766-1834): Wrote an Essay on the Principles of Population (1798) “Animal populations tend to increase exponentially while food supplies remain stable” 2. Within any one species there exists a significant amount of biological variability (body size, colour..) 3. Since only a portion of all offspring can survive to reproduce, those with advantageous traits will have an edge over other members of their species. 4. Those individuals that have any traits that provide them advantages in the environmental conditions they face will be more likely to
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