Significance of Evolutionary and Genetic Principles Discussion

Significance of Evolutionary and Genetic Principles Discussion

Significance of Evolutionary and Genetic Principles Discussion

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After completing this unit, the successful student will correctly be able to:
1. Describe the history and significance of evolutionary and genetic principles.
2. Begin to describe and apply the main methods used in primatology, paleontology, and human osteology.
3. Begin to explain and evaluate how scientists define species, classify organisms, and group major taxa within the order Primates.
define and contrast the biological processes of evolution and natural selection.
describe how the science evolved from a philosophical or religious study to one that involved the examination of observable phenomena.
state the significance of the work of Linnaeus, Buffon, Lamarck, Malthus, Lyell, Wallace, and Darwin.

describe each of the steps in the scientific method.
contrast what is meant between vernacular and scientific definitions of “hypothesis” and “theory”.
define Mendelian concepts and terms, including: law of segregation, law of independent assortment, trait of simple inheritance (Mendelian trait), homozygous, heterozygous, genotype, and phenotype.
describe how Mendel developed the concepts of alleles, dominant traits, and recessive traits.
apply a Punnett Square to determine the chances that certain traits will be passed onto offspring.
explain each of these terms: cell nucleus, ribosome, mitochondria, chromosomes, loci, DNA, mRNA, transfer RNA, protein, amino acid, triplet, codon, exon, intron, epigenetics, and genome.
diagram protein synthesis.
define gene, and summarize what genes do.Significance of Evolutionary and Genetic Principles Discussion
explain the significance of meiosis, crossing-over/recombination, and epigenetics.
define and describe examples of epigenetics, traits of complex inheritance, and biocultural evolution.
describe how the following affect body form: Bergmann’s Rule, Allen’s Rule, Thrifty Genotype, Thrifty Phenotype, and culture.
describe how cranial shape and cranial capacity are measured, and explain how why these and other traits are of complex inheritance.
explain why meaningful population-defining genetic differences are difficult to identify in humans.
describe how genotypes underly biology’s species concept, yet phenotypes and traits of complex inheritance have often been used to classify modern humans.

contrast populations, gene pools, and communities.
define, explain the significance, and describe an example of each of four evolutionary forces: mutation, gene flow, genetic drift, and natural selection.
contrast point vs. frame-shift mutations, founder’s effects vs. bottleneck events, and directional vs. stabilizing selection.
explain how scientists use the Hardy-Weinberg Equilibria Model to assess whether human populations are subject to an evolutionary force.
define hemoglobin, HbA, HbS, codominant trait, thalassemia, G6PD deficiency, lactase persistence.
analyze how natural selection affects humans, mosquitos, and Plasmodium (a parasite responsible for malaria).
explain how the sickling hemoglobin allele (responsible for sickle-cell anemia) is maintained at high rates in certain human populations.
describe how the frequency of G6PD deficiency alleles are possibly affected by natural selection and genetic drift.
explain how disease may act as a selective force on human populations.
analyze how natural selection may affect the distribution of lactose intolerance among human populations.
define species, speciation, macroevolution, adaptive radiation, convergent/parallel evolution, and extinction.
contrast the biological and type notion species definitions.
explain how and why scientists may define species ecologically, phylogenetically, or through mate recognition.
describe an example of species that have gone through the process of speciation.
contrast gradualism vs. punctuated equilibria; allopatric, parapatric, & sympatric speciation; cladogenesis (divergent evolution) vs. anagenesis (linear evolution).
describe how the pace and direction of evolution may vary.
discuss and describe an example of coevolution.

define adaptation, homeostasis, heat radiation, and hypoxia.
identify and describe means by which the body responds to temperature stress, including: body size, vasoconstriction/vasodilation, countercurrent, shivering, adjusting blood pressure, basal metabolic rate, and diet.
list how oxygen is taken in, absorbed, and transferred throughout the body.
describe sea level native, Tibetan, and Quechua responses to hypoxic stress, including genetic (if present) and physiological (ventilation, heart size/function, aerobic capacity, brain function, and reproduction/development) adaptations.
explain, using case studies, how human populations adapt biologically and culturally to temperature stress (Inuit, aboriginal Australians) and altitude stress (Quechua).


define sample size, central tendency, spread/dispersion, mean, median, mode, range, standard deviation, and normal distribution.

define melanin, melanocytes, folate, rickets/osteomalacia, spina bifida.
explain how biological anthropologists can assess variation.
analyze whether two populations differ significantly in relation to a specific measure of human anatomy.
describe how skin color is formed, the role and production of melanin, how skin color affects vitamin D synthesis, and Nina Jablonski’s hypothesis about the role of UV radiation in selection for skin color.

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contrast: the need to block UV radiation vs. the need to absorb UV radiation; how selection may favor darker skin color vs. how selection may favor lighter skin color.
define subspecies and cline, and explain why biological anthropologists recognize that humans have clines, and do not exhibit subspecies differences.

Identify the featured cranial bones (mandible, maxilla, zygomatic, frontal, nasal, parietal, temporal, occipital), both isolated and associated from/with other cranial elements.
Identify and explain the significance of specific cranial landmarks (bars, bullae, condyles, constriction, crests, flare, foramina, orbits, rami, ridges/tori, symphyses) and muscles (temporalis and masseter).
Analyze cranial robusticity (and compressive forces), prognathism, length/width, articulation/orientation, and landmarks/features to assess a specimen’s primate status, nocturnality, size, sex, and preferred food items (leaves, fruit, insects. gums).
Identify and analyze cranial features (mandibular symphysis, postorbital closure) that anthropologists only use to help identify a specimen’s classification within primates.
All learning objectives (exce


dentify the featured teeth (incisor, canine, premolar, molar) across primates, both isolated and associated from/with other cranial-dental elements.
Identify and explain the significance of dental features for incisors (gracile vs. robust, procumbency, toothcomb), canines (sexual dimorphism, diastema, toothcomb), premolars (sectorial premolar), and molars (primate-like upper molars, pointy/rounded/blade-like cusps).
Identify a specimen’s dental formula, and recognize how anthropologists number each tooth.
Analyze dental features (size, curvature, cusp arrangement/shape) to assess a specimen’s relative age, body size, sex, and preferred food items (gums, leaves, fruit, insects).
Identify and analyze cranial-dental features (mandibular symphysis, postorbital closure, steplike molars, bilophodont molars) that anthropologists only use to help identify a specimen’s classification within Primates.


Identify the featured postcranial bones (vertebrae, clavicle, scapula, humerus, ulna, radius, carpals, metacarpals, phalanges, pelvis/innominate/os coxae, femur, tibia, fibula, calcaneus, talus, metatarsals) across primates, both isolated and associated with other postcranial elements. Note that students do not need to accomplish identifying individual carpals, metacarpals, tarsals, metatarsals, and phalanges, other than those specifically mentioned.

Identify and explain the functional significance of specific postcranial landmarks on these bones (processes, foramina, condyles, crests, foramina, facets/pits).
Identify and define proper postcranial anatomical terms of orientation.
Analyze postcranial robusticity (and compressive, tensile, and rotational forces), length (intermembral index), articulation/orientation, and features to assess a specimen’s preferred locomotor behavior (preferred form of locomotion) and substrate preferences.
Identify, explain the significance, and analyze how bone elongation/reduction, robusticity, and curvature relate to arboreality and terrestriality across primates.
Identify and describe all six major categories of locomotion in primates: quadrupedal, brachiation/suspension, vertical clinging and leaping (VCL), knuckle-walking, quadrumanus, and bipedal locomotion.
Analyze postcranial features (epiphyseal fusion, pelvis) to assess a specimen’s relative age (across primates) and sex (only in humans).

Identify, explain, and analyze postcranial skeletal bones (foot, pelvic, and knee bones) and several muscular (gluteal and popliteal) components of how bipedal primates locomote.
Define and describe the different phases and components of walking both in the foot and pelvis.
Identify and describe how the heel (calcaneus), ankle (talus), arch, big toe, pelvis, femur, and tibia help maintain a bipedal primate’s center of gravity what factors led to the speciation and extinction of each of the above groups of fossil primates.
Recognize and distinguish the cranial (foramen magnum position) and postcranial skeletal (vertebral column, pelvis, legs, and feet) differences between bipedal and knuckle-walking primates.

Q: About the “protein synthesis” portion on the study guide: Are you going to want us to go through in detail about protein synthesis or just define the term?
A: You really should have a good idea as to what goes on from DNA to protein. Understand the process that occurs. In other words:
Do you understand what bases are, and what they do? Do you understand that bases match up in a specific way (C with G, A with T)?
Can you trace what goes on with mRNA making a copy of DNA?
What happens to mRNA between copying the DNA and leaving the nucleus?
Do you understand the significance of triplets/codons?
Do you understand what goes on with transfer RNA and amino acids?
Q: Should we expect questions about links, videos, and discussions?
A: Yes. This relates directly to class material on evolutionary forces. Links in labs or on the Blackboard site relate materials in class to the outside world. Yes, these are relevant to the Exam.