Natural Selection and Evolution. Geology 230 Fossils and Evolution

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1 Natural Selection and Evolution Geology 230 Fossils and Evolution

2 The Study of Evolution Evidence from living and fossil organisms Biology study of living organisms Genetics: Genotype Comparative Anatomy: Phenotype Paleontology or Paleobiology study of fossilized organisms: Phenotype

3 Natural Selection The theory of natural selection was proposed by Charles Darwin in 1859, in his book: The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. Alfred Russell Wallace independently developed the same theory as Darwin in the 1850s.

4 One of the most famous and influential books of science.

5 Darwin drew an analogy between artificial selection and natural selection. Here we see dog breeds produced by artificial selection.

6 Natural Selection: Key Points 3 facts lead to a conclusion: Fact 1. Overproduction of offspring Fact 2. Variation within populations Fact 3. Competition for resources Conclusion: Survival of the fittest

7

8

9 Sources of Variation Random mutations of DNA in the sex cells (Zimmer, p. 105) >>99.9% are harmful or neutral adaptive mutations are rare Sexual recombination new variants created by mixing of genes (alleles) e.g., you have 4096 direct ancestors going back just 12 generations (2 12 ) Genetic Drift random allele changes that happen in small populations (Zimmer, p )

10 Variations within Natural Populations are the Raw Materials for Natural Selection, including Sexual Selection. Do you think I m sexy?

11 One species of tree snail. Why so many colors?

12 Chromosomes contain Genes composed of DNA

13 The Anatomy of a Gene. Helical strands of DNA contain the blueprints for all forms of life.

14 The DNA molecule contains nitrogenous bases (A,T,C,G) that code for different amino acids, which form proteins.

15 Selection Genotypes and phenotypes can be ranked by fitness. Negative Selection a given allele reduces reproductive success. Positive Selection a given allele increases reproductive success. Stabilizing Selection extremes are eliminated. Human baby size is an example.

16 Fitness The fitness of a population or species is the product of the heritability of traits times the strength of selection. If a trait s heritability is high, even weak selection can lead to evolutionary change. Species will climb peaks on adaptive landscapes. But adaptive landscapes change over time.

17 Adaptive Landscapes

18 Evidence of Evolution Homology, or homologous features: Evidence of common ancestry. Analogous organs/features, or Convergent Evolution: Independent evolution of adaptive features. Vestigial organs: Evidence for evolutionary change. Adaptive radiation: New adaptations lead to rapid speciation.

19 Homology The recognition of common ancestry of features. e.g. all primates have 5 fingers; apes and humans lack a tail; all tetrapods have similar limb bones. Studied by comparative anatomy of living and fossil organisms.

20 Homologous features are used to recognize common evolutionary ancestry.

21 Hominoids

22 Chimp Human

23 Chimp Gorilla

24 Homologous features are used to recognize common evolutionary ancestry.

25 Examples of homologous features in the forelimbs of tetrapods.

26 Homologous development between different species indicates common ancestry.

27 Universal Tree of Life mapped with homolgies

28 Analogous Organs or Convergent Evolution Produced by evolutionary convergence. Independent origin of similar features is called convergent evolution. Shows natural selection in operation. e.g., insects, birds, bats, and pterosaurs all evolved wings independently

29 Examples of analogous features indicating convergent evolution and not common ancestry. Pterosaur Bat Bird

30 Other examples of convergent evolution: armadillo and pangolin; monotreme and placental anteaters; thylacines and canines Tasmanian Wolf

31 Vestigial Organs Organs no longer used, but show clear evidence of evolutionary change. e.g., pelvic bones of modern whales, vestiges of former legs e.g., human body hair, a vestige of former fur

32 vestigial whale hips

33 Vestigial Organs in Humans. Mostly useless now. Goose Bumps

34 Adaptive Radiation Natural selection can fill a variety of niches starting with a single species. e.g., Darwin s finches in the Galapagos Islands, 13 species evolved from one ancestral species e.g., all birds evolved from Archaeopteryx

35 The beaks of Darwin s finches are adapted to the variety of food types available on the different islands in the Galapagos Islands.

36 Type specimens of finches collected by Darwin in the Galapagos Islands

37

38 Archaeopteryx, the first bird, Jurassic age.

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40 Adaptive Radiation from Archaeopteryx 9700 species of living birds

41 The Origin of New Species: Speciation Natural selection by itself will not increase the number of species on the planet. How does this happen? Biological species definition: Interbreeding populations reproductively isolated from other such populations. New species must be reproductively isolated from their ancestral species to be distinct.

42 Lions and tigers (Panthera) share a close common ancestor (within last million years) as shown by ability to hybridize. But the hybrids are usually sterile, indicating distinct species.

43 Liger

44 Equus asinus Equus caballus 64 chromosomes 62 chromosomes 63 chromosomes = 63 Embryo Horses and donkeys (Equus) share a common ancestor. Their hybrid, the mule, is sterile.

45 Zonkey Zebra and donkey hybrid Messing around with species. Where are the boundaries? Zebroid or Zorse Zebra and horse hybrid

46 Speciation, cont d Allopatric speciation: produced by geographic isolation of populations. Natural selection causes an isolated population to adapt to its local environment. Given enough time, and no outside interbreeding, a new species will evolve.

47 Rates of Evolution Phyletic gradualism - continuous and gradual change over time Punctuated Equilibrium - long periods of stasis punctuated by rapid change, probably associated with a bottleneck in population size.

48

49

50 Geographic Separation and Isolation Stasis Stasis Punctuated Change

51 Example of Stasis Medium ground finch (Geospiza fortis) in the Galapagos Islands (Zimmer, p ). During drought, large beaks adaptive for opening hard, woody seeds. During wet times (El Niño), small beaks adaptive for abundant small seeds. Alternating wet-dry seasons produce no net change in beak size.

52 Rates of Evolution Large populations evolve very slowly or almost not at all. Advantageous mutations pass very slowly through a population. Small populations can evolve very rapidly. Advantageous mutations can be passed very quickly through the population.

53 Natural Selection in Action See the example of evolutionary change in lizards on islands in the Adriatic Sea, p in Zimmer. A new variety, if not a new species, evolved in just 33 years.

54 Evolution in Action Passing through a bottleneck: Pesticide resistant insects Antibiotic resistant bacteria New Drug-Resistant Superbugs Found in 3 States

55 An extreme selection event severely reduces population size and changes the composition of the gene pool of the species. Bottleneck Effect

56 Microevolution vs Macroevolution Small changes, such as seen in modern bacteria or beaks in finches, are examples of microevolution. Microevolution leads to new species over time. Large changes, such as the evolution of major features, like wings in birds, or legs in fish, are examples of macroevolution. Macroevolution leads to significant evolutionary change.

57 Macroevolution How did eyes evolve? See this video:

58 Role of the Fossil Record Provides the only actual record of evolutionary change over geologic time. Provides data on the timing of evolutionary origins. Shows mass extinctions to be a major cause of evolutionary change, although strictly speaking, it is not an evolutionary process. Provides information on rates of evolution.

59 Evolutionary Origins Oldest life: 3.5 BY Oldest nucleated cells: 2.1 BY First animals: 600 MY First tetrapods: 375 MY First dinosaurs: 220 MY First mammals: 220 MY First hominids: 4 MY

60 Evolution of Tetrapods

61 Acanthostega and Ichthyostega

62 Evolution of Whales

63 Mass Extinctions Survival of the luckiest? Over geologic time, mass extinctions may subvert the notion of survival of the fittest. Is evolutionary history predictable?

64 The Record of Mass Extinctions

65 Rates of Evolution Biologists cannot measure evolutionary rates. They have only the present. Darwin assumed gradual rates. Paleontologists can measure evolutionary rates. They have found punctuated equilibria to be the major pattern in fossil species rather than gradual change.

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