Practice Evolution Quizzes

The following multiple choice questions are examples of the sorts of questions you should be able to answer.


Directions: Answer the following multiple choice questions by choosing the letter of the response that represents the best answer to the question.


66. Which of the following is not a source of variation in a population?

67. Which of the following examples of variation is not important from an evolutionary standpoint?

68. Why is genetic variation important from an evolutionary standpoint?

69. Which of the following is an example of genetic variation?

70. Which of the following is an example of environmental variation?


71. What's the difference between natural selection and sexual selection?

72. What's the difference between genetic drift and change due to natural selection?

73. According to our reading, how did Georges Cuvier account for extinctions in nature?

74. Why, according to our reading, did Darwin take so long to publish the Origin of Species?

75. In which of the following ways is natural selection not analogous to artificial selection?


76. Why is the advent of reproductive isolation important from an evolutionary standpoint?

77. If the theory of natural selection is the survival of the fitness, and the fittest are identified as those who survive, why isn't it regarded as a tautology (a statement that is true only because of the meaning of the terms) ?

78. The variation natural selection operates on is due to random mutations. What does this imply about natural selection?

79. How was Mendel's work ultimately reconciled with Darwin's theory of natural selection during the evolutionary synthesis in the 1930s and 1940s?

80. Which of the following is evidence for Darwin's theory of common descent?


81. What is the relationship between the wing of a bird and the wing of a bat?

82. Which of the following is not an example of a macroevolutionary process?

83. Which of the following is an example of an ancestral homology?

84. Which of the following is not an example of microevolutionary change?

85. Which of the following are difficult to explain in terms of natural selection?


86. Which of the following is not an example of a monophyletic taxon?

87. Which of the following are kingdoms?

88. Which of the following must increase over geological time according to evolutionary biologists?

89. Why is similarity per se misleading when it comes to inferring evolutionary relationships?

90. Which of the following are the most distantly related to one another?


91. How might an evolutionary biologist explain why a species of birds has evolved a larger beak size?

92. How might an evolutionary biologist explain why a species of species of salamander becomes blind after colonizing a cave?

93. Which of the following is the most fit in an evolutionary sense?

94. A biologist is trying to infer how five closely related species of snakes are related to one another. She notices that some of the snakes have forked tongues and others do not. Which of the following would help her distinguish the ancestral state?

95. How is extinction represented in a tree diagram?


ANSWERS 66. E 67. C 68. D 69. A 70. B 71. C 72. B 73. D 74. D 75. A 76. A 77. E 78. B 79. D 80. E 81. C 82. D 83. A 84. D 85. E 86. A 87. E 88. E 89. C 90. A 91. C 92. B 93. B 94. B 95. B

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Last updated on 20 Sep 2006.