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0902/196.

207
AKL
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Student ID number: __________________________________


Name: _____________________________________________

MASSEY UNIVERSITY
AUCKLAND CAMPUS
EXAMINATION FOR
196.207 BIOLOGICAL EVOLUTION
Semester 2 - 2009

TIME ALLOWED: THREE (3) HOURS

Answer ALL questions from SECTION A.


Answer THREE (3) questions from SECTION B.
Section A consists of 10 short answer questions.
Each question is worth 3 marks, 30 marks in total. Allocate 1 hour for Section A.
Section B consists of six long answer questions.
Each question is worth 20 marks, 60 marks in total. Allocate 2 hours for Section B.

TOTAL marks: 90
All answers are to be written in the blue answer book provided.

Page 1 of 1

SECTION A (Short answer questions)


[Answer ALL questions from SECTION A]
1.

What does the following phylogenetic tree tell us about (a) the evolutionary
relationships between the organisms represented, and (b) the rates of
evolution in this group?

2.

How does biological variation arise in populations and why do evolutionists


place such importance on the study of variation?

3.

Give one example of a stable polymorphism and explain what maintains


stability.

4.

Explain how a population occupying position A on this adaptive landscape


could move to occupy positions B and C.

5.

There is a two-fold cost to sex. Explain the basis of this cost and provide one
explanation for the maintenance of sex.

6.

Provide a brief evolutionary explanation for the observation that embryos from
a wide range of vertebrates appear quite similar early in development.

0902/196.207
AKL
Internal Only

7.

Explain briefly the Urey-Miller Experiment in context of the origin of life.

8.

What is biomolecular homochirality and why is it important for the existence of


life?

9.

List three points in which complex emergence is distinguished from simple


emergence in complexity theory

10.

What is a Turing pattern?

PLEASE TURN OVER

Page 3 of 3

SECTION B (Long answer questions)


[Answer THREE (3) questions from SECTION B]

1.

Discuss, using examples, how the fossil record and molecular data can each
help us to understand evolutionary relationships between organisms. Your
answer should review both advantages and disadvantages of these sources
of information.

2.

Natural selection shapes the fit between organisms and their environments.
But does natural selection always produce the best possible solution?
Discuss with reference to concepts covered in this paper. Illustrate your
arguments with examples where appropriate.

3.

Outline the various mechanisms that drive adaptive radiation and explain how
these promote the emergence and maintenance of diversity. How has
experimental evolution contributed to our understanding of adaptive
radiation? Support your answer with examples.

4.

Describe at least five necessary conditions for the existence of life in the
universe and give an explanation for each of the conditions.

5.

There are marked similarities in the behaviour of the logistic equation and BZ
reaction.
o
Describe these similarities (10 marks)
o
State the general mechanism that these systems share that accounts
for the similarity of their behaviour (2 marks)
o
Explain how the BZ reaction and the logistic equation are relevant to a
course in biological evolution (8 marks)

6.

During an evolutionary transition, individual entities capable of autonomous


replication give up this right and come to replicate as part of a corporate body.
With reference to one major evolutionary transition discuss how the transition
may have occurred.

END OF PAPER
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