Evolution Lab

Topics: Evolutionary biology, Evolution, Human vestigiality Pages: 5 (767 words) Published: May 2, 2013
Name _____________________________ Regents Biology

Period _________ Date ______________________

LAB ____. ANATOMICAL EVIDENCE OF EVOLUTION In our studies of the anatomy and development of animals we have discovered that many living creatures that look quite different on the surface have similarities underneath their skin that suggest that they are related to each other. This is evidence that living creatures have evolved, or gradually changed over time. In this lab, you will learn about homologous, analogous, and vestigial structures and their value as evidence for evolution.

There are many examples of body structures that are formed in similar ways during embryonic development and that share similar patterns of bone structure, even though they take on different forms and perform somewhat different functions. These structures are called homologous structures. Homo- means same, and -logous means information, so homologous means “same information”. Homologous structures mean that the animals share a relatively recent common ancestor. 1. Carefully examine the drawings of forelimb skeletons shown in Figure 1 on the next page. Look for similarities in the bones amongst the various animals. 2. Color in the human arm first. Color the bones of the arm (the humerus, ulna, and radius) blue. Color the bones of the hand (the carpal, metacarpals, and phalanges) yellow. 3. Color the corresponding bones in each of the other animals the same color as the human bones. 4. Observe each of the skeletons again, and describe the function of each limb in the table below: Animal human whale cat bat bird crocodile 5. Answer the Summary Questions. Function

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Name _____________________________ Figure 1.

Regents Biology

2 of 6 Developed by Kim B. Foglia • www.ExploreBiology.com • ©2008

Name _____________________________

Regents Biology

There are also many examples of body structures in animals that are very similar in function and superficially similar in form and but develop very different and have very different internal structures and embryonic development. These structures are called analogous structures. Analogous structures mean that the animals do not share a recent common ancestor. 1. Examine the butterfly wing and the bird wing shown in Figure 2. 2. Look for any similar bone structure. 3. Answer the Summary Questions.

Figure 2.

There are also many examples of body structures in animals that show gradual changes over time. In some cases, these changes have reduced or removed the function of some body parts and organs. These reduced or lost structures are called vestigial structures. The wings of penguins and the leg bones of snakes are examples of this phenomenon. 1. Observe the drawings of the cavefish and the minnow shown in Figure 3. The fish are related to each other but the cave fish is blind and only has the remnants of an eye. 2. Answer the Summary Questions.

3 of 6 Developed by Kim B. Foglia • www.ExploreBiology.com • ©2008

Name _____________________________ SUMMARY QUESTIONS

Regents Biology

1. Are the functions of the limbs of each of the animals illustrated the same or different? ___________________________________________________________________________ 2. Are the bones of the limbs arranged in a similar or in a very different way in each animal? ___________________________________________________________________________ 3. Does the similarity in bone structure suggest a common ancestry amongst these animals? ___________________________________________________________________________ 4. Offer a possible evolutionary explanation for how the skeletons can be similar but the functions very different in each of the animals. ___________________________________________________________________________...
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