Bush, Chapter 1.4-1.6

Submitted by francisk on Fri, 01/12/2007 - 12:33pm.

Reading Questions for Bush, Ecology of a Changing Planet

Chapter 1.4-1.6: Natural Selection 

Please complete the following questions for lecture on Tuesday, Jan. 16. 

  1. List the four observations supporting the theory of natural selection. Would these observations have been made by Darwin’s predecessors? When Thomas Henry Huxley, one of evolution’s most vocal supporters, read the Origin of Species, he exclaimed: "How extremely stupid not to have thought of that!" If the theory was so obvious, a) why did nobody articulate the theory of natural selection before Darwin? b) why was the theory of natural selection so controversial?
  1. Explain what Bush means by the statements that natural selection is a) conservative, and b) passive.
  1. Define fitness. For the following fitness values, determine a) how many offspring would be produced by two parents, and b) how many offspring will be produced over three generations for a starting population of 100 individuals: 0.5, 1, 1.5, 3.
  1. Using the Galapagos finches as an example, describe the pattern of diversity that one observes following adaptive radiation and the mechanism that produces this pattern.
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