Origin Study Guide 4

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Harvard University
Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Organismic and Evolutionary Biology OEB 53
Andrew Berry

Julie Vu TF: Pan Pan Jiang T HEO RIGIN OF THE S PECIES:C HAPTER 6(D IFFICULTIES ON THEORY ) What arethefourmain “difficulties” thatDarwinanticipateswithhis theory?(He discusses two indetailin this chapter,andthe other two eachinits ownsubsequentchapter) The four main difficulties are 1) absence of transitional varieties, 2) modification of structures into wholly different uses, 3) evolution of instinct by natural selection, and 3) patterns in hybrid sterility Darwinarguesthat we can seetransitionalformsinbothlivingspecies and fossils. What was one example of aliving transitional form? Whydoes Darwinsuggest we seeso few transitional fossils? Darwin suggests that so few transitional fossils are observed because the geological record is far from perfect, most likely because organisms did not inhabit a deep-see environment ideal for preservation of remains. He points out that living transitional forms are not expected to be common because descent with modification involves offspring forms continuously supplanting parental forms. One example of a transitional form is the mink, which has webbed feet and resembles both an otter and a skunk, depending on th
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