GED Science : Geological Eras and Evolution

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GED Science

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Geological Eras And Evolution

Which of the following statements is most accurate?

Possible Answers:

Chimpanzees and humans share a recent common ancestor

Humans are chimpanzees' most recent common ancestor

It is impossible to tell the evolutionary relationship between chimpanzees and humans without further fossil evidence

Chimpanzees are humans' most recent common ancestor

Correct answer:

Chimpanzees and humans share a recent common ancestor

Explanation:

Common ancestors are the branching points in a phylogenetic tree, from which multiple species originate. Chimpanzees and humans share a common ancestor. Through evolution, the genetic changes to this ancestor gave rise to two separate species: chimpanzees and humans. This divide occurred roughly 5 million years ago, according to fossil evidence.

To say that chimpanzees are the most recent common ancestor to humans implies that humans actually evolved from chimpanzees. Similarly, to say that humans are the most recent ancestor to chimpanzees suggests that chimpanzees evolved from humans. Neither of these statements are correct, as both species are actually derived from a shared ancient relative (the most recent common ancestor).

Example Question #2 : Geological Eras And Evolution

Which era is referred to as "the age of the mammals?"

Possible Answers:

Cenozoic 

Paleozoic 

Mesozoic 

Precambrian

Correct answer:

Cenozoic 

Explanation:

There are three eras that divide geologic time: the Paleozoic era, the Mesozoic era, and the Cenozoic era. The Mesozoic era was the age of the dinosaurs. Following their extinction, the Cenozoic era began and mammals started to dominate the landscape. This gives the Cenozoic era the nickname "the age of the mammals."

Example Question #3 : Geological Eras And Evolution

Which of the following contribute most to evolution in a population?

Possible Answers:

No mutations entering the population

Non-random mating

Large population numbers

No new organisms entering the population

Correct answer:

Non-random mating

Explanation:

A population will not experience evolution if all of the following requirements are met:

1. Very large population numbers.

2. No new mutations entering the population.

3. No new organisms entering the population and changing the gene pool.

4. All mating is random.

5. No natural selection.

These tenets are the foundation of Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. If mating is no longer random, evolution will take place in the population. Similarly, if mutations occur, new organisms enter the population, the population size is small, and natural selection is in effect, then evolution will be enhanced.

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