Example test questions: Systematics
- (Refers to a diagram of a phylogenic tree) Which of the above groups of organisms represents a monophyletic lineage?
- (Refers to a diagram of a phylogenic tree) Which of the above groups of organisms represents a paraphyletic lineage?
- Which of the following terms describes traits that are present in two species and that were inherited from a recent common ancestor?
- In _____ groups, the species all share a recent common ancestor and some but not all the descendent species of that common ancestor are considered part of the group.
- “The degree of relatedness (and therefore how recent the time of divergence) is proportional to the number of shared homologous traits.” This is known as the principle of
- Why do we suspect that the earliest mammals lactated?
(a. they were viviparous,
b. all present-day mammals lactate and their mammary tissue is virtually identical across species,
c. we have fossil evidence of milk,
d. the earliest mammals did not lactate)
- Using the principle of conservation, which of the following traits is most likely to be ancestral in mammals? (a. chorioallantoic placenta,
b. egg laying,
d. bat’s wings)
- Which of the following terms describes traits present into two species that were inherited from a recent shared ancestor?
- Flippers have evolved independently in several orders of mammals and is an example of
d. An ancestral trait)
- Some early classification schemes used modes of locomotion to differentiate groups of mammals. Why is this not a satisfactory character for constructing phylogenies? Be sure to explain how convergence contributes to the problem. Name two other types of characters that are more useful. Is convergence still a problem with the other methods?