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10.1: Darwin and the Theory of Evolution

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Lesson 10.1: True or False

Name___________________ Class______________ Date________

Write true if the statement is true or false if the statement is false.

_____ 1. As recently as 200 years ago, many people believed that Earth was only 6,000 years old.

_____ 2. Artificial selection occurs when nature selects for beneficial traits.

_____ 3. The individual Galápagos Islands are all similar to each other.

_____ 4. Malthus argued that human populations grow faster than their resources.

_____ 5. Lamarck was one of the first scientists to propose that species evolve by natural selection.

_____ 6. Lyell was one of the first to say that Earth must be far older than most people believed.

_____ 7. Lamarck's inheritance of acquired characteristics is has become a widely accepted scientific theory.

_____ 8. Fossils proved to Darwin that species can evolve.

_____ 9. The term fitness to refer to an organism’s ability to outrun its hunters.

_____ 10. Darwin published his findings soon after returning to England from the voyage of the Beagle.

_____ 11. According to Darwin, natural selection is what occurs, and evolution is how it happens.

_____ 12. During his journey aboard the Beagle, Darwin found fossils from the seas in the mountains.

_____ 13. Galápagos tortoises have differently shaped shells depending on where they live.

_____ 14. Darwin's book changed science forever.

_____ 15. Alfred Russel Wallace developed a theory of evolution at the same time as Darwin.

Lesson 10.1: Critical Reading

Name___________________ Class______________ Date________

Read these passages from the text and answer the questions that follow.

The Voyage of the Beagle

In 1831, when Darwin was just 22 years old, he set sail on a scientific expedition on a ship called the HMS Beagle. He was the naturalist on the voyage. As a naturalist, it was his job to observe and collect specimens of plants, animals, rocks, and fossils wherever the expedition went ashore.

Darwin was fascinated by nature, so he loved his job on the Beagle. He spent more than 3 years of the 5-year trip exploring nature on distant continents and islands. While he was away, a former teacher published Darwin’s accounts of his observations. By the time Darwin finally returned to England, he had become famous as a naturalist.

Darwin’s Observations

During the long voyage, Darwin made many observations that helped him form his theory of evolution. For example:

  • He visited tropical rainforests and other new habitats where he saw many plants and animals he had never seen before. This impressed him with the great diversity of life.
  • He experienced an earthquake that lifted the ocean floor 2.7 meters (9 feet) above sea level. He also found rocks containing fossil sea shells in mountains high above sea level. These observations suggested that continents and oceans had changed dramatically over time and continue to change in dramatic ways.
  • He visited rock ledges that had clearly once been beaches that had gradually built up over time. This suggested that slow, steady processes also change Earth’s surface.
  • He dug up fossils of gigantic extinct mammals, such as the ground sloth. This was hard evidence that organisms looked very different in the past. It suggested that living things — like Earth’s surface — change over time.

The Galápagos Islands

Darwin’s most important observations were made on the Galápagos Islands. This is a group of 16 small volcanic islands 966 kilometers (600 miles) off the west coast of South America.

Individual Galápagos Islands differ from one another in important ways. Some are rocky and dry. Others have better soil and more rainfall. Darwin noticed that the plants and animals on the different islands also differed. For example, the giant tortoises on one island had saddle-shaped shells, while those on another island had dome-shaped shells. People who lived on the islands could even tell the island a turtle came from by its shell. This started Darwin thinking about the origin of species. He wondered how each island came to have its own type of tortoise.

Questions

1. What was Darwin's role on the Beagle?

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2. What was significant about the new habitats Darwin visited?

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3. What was significant about the rocks Darwin found in the mountains?

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4. What was significant about the fossils Darwin found?

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5. What did Darwin notice about life on the Galápagos Islands?

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Lesson 10.1: Multiple Choice

Name___________________ Class______________ Date________

Circle the letter of the correct choice.

  1. ____________ developed the theory of evolution by natural selection.
    1. Alfred Russel Wallace
    2. Charles Darwin
    3. Jean Baptiste Lamarck
    4. Charles Lyell
  2. The voyage of the Beagle circled the globe. This voyage lasted
    1. 5 months.
    2. 2 years.
    3. 4 years.
    4. 5 years.
  3. Aboard the Beagle, Darwin served as
    1. a naturalist.
    2. the captain.
    3. the captain's first officer.
    4. the ship's doctor.
  4. During the voyage of the Beagle, Darwin
    1. experienced an earthquake that lifted the ocean floor 9 feet.
    2. dug up fossils of gigantic extinct mammals.
    3. saw many plants and animals he had never seen before.
    4. all of the above
  5. Where did Darwin make some of his most important observations that helped him develop his theory?
    1. England
    2. the Galápagos Islands
    3. South Africa
    4. South America
  6. Who argued that human populations grow faster than the resources they depend on?
    1. Thomas Malthus
    2. Charles Lyell
    3. Jean Baptiste Lamarck
    4. Alfred Russel Wallace
  7. One of the first scientists to propose that species change over time was
    1. Charles Darwin.
    2. Charles Lyell.
    3. Jean Baptiste Lamarck.
    4. Alfred Russel Wallace.
  8. Natural selection states that
    1. a change in a species occurs over time.
    2. nature selects the variations within a species that are most useful for survival.
    3. fitness is an organism’s ability to survive and produce fertile offspring.
    4. all of the above

Lesson 10.1: Vocabulary I

Name___________________ Class______________ Date________

Match the vocabulary word with the proper definition.

Definitions

_____ 1. change in species over time

_____ 2. one of the first scientists to propose that species change over time

_____ 3. ship on which Darwin served as naturalist

_____ 4. his theory of evolution unifies all of biology

_____ 5. the process by which evolution occurs

_____ 6. argued that human populations grow faster than the resources they depend on

_____ 7. small volcanic islands where Darwin made many important observations

_____ 8. selecting for plants and animals with useful traits

_____ 9. argued that gradual geological processes have gradually shaped Earth’s surface

_____ 10. states that traits an organism develops during its own life time can be passed on to offspring

_____ 11. developed a theory of evolution at the same time as Darwin

_____ 12. an organism’s relative ability to survive and produce fertile offspring

Terms

a. artificial selection

b. Darwin

c. evolution

d. fitness

e. Galápagos Islands

f. HMS Beagle

g. inheritance of acquired characteristics

h. Lamarck

i. Lyell

j. Malthus

k. natural selection

l. Wallace

Lesson 10.1: Vocabulary II

Name___________________ Class______________ Date________

Fill in the blank with the appropriate term.

1. In 1831, Darwin set sail on a scientific expedition on a ship called the HMS ____________.

2. Darwin’s most important observations were made on the ____________ Islands.

3. Lamarck developed the idea known as the inheritance of ____________ characteristics.

4. The ____________ Darwin found helped convince him that species change over time.

5. The term ____________ refers to an organism’s ability to survive and produce fertile offspring.

6. ____________ paper on evolution confirmed Darwin’s ideas.

7. ____________ said that Earth must be far older than most people believed.

8. Darwin was influenced by his knowledge of artificial ____________.

9. Darwin proposed that ____________ selects the variations in organisms that are most useful.

10. The Galápagos Islands are known for having giant ____________ with differently shaped shells.

11. From Malthus, Darwin knew that populations could grow faster than their ____________.

12. Darwin’s theory of evolution unifies all of ____________.

Lesson 10.1: Critical Writing

Name___________________ Class______________ Date________

Thoroughly answer the question below. Use appropriate academic vocabulary and clear and complete sentences.

Explain how a species can evolve through natural selection.

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