GED Science Extra Prep: Theory of Evolution
The theory of evolution is a well-established scientific theory that helps to explain the diversity of living things on our planet. Questions on the GED Science test that deal with evolution will be based on topics like the fossil record and analogous structures.
- Which of the following correctly represents the progression of life on Earth according to the fossil record, from earliest life forms to the most recent?
A. fish, amphibians, birds, reptiles, mammals
B. amphibians, fish, reptiles, mammals, birds
C. fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals
D. fish, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, birds
Use the following information to answer the next question.
Sometimes, as different species evolve, they adapt in similar ways to their environment. This occasionally results in different animals developing different body parts that perform the same function, even though they may look very different from each other. These body parts are known as analogous structures.
- Which of the following are analogous structures?
A. the hive of a bee colony and the ant hill of an ant colony
B. the wing of an eagle and the wing of a bee
C. the foot of a baby and the foot of an adult
D. the tail of a fish and the stomach of a cow
Answers and Explanations
- The correct answer is C.
The fossil record begins with fish, followed by amphibians. Then, as the shallow-water ecosystems that contained amphibians began to dry up, organisms had to leave the water, and reptiles evolved. Birds are believed to have evolved from reptiles, and lastly, mammals arrived on the scene.
- The correct answer is B.
Choice (B) describes a pair of analogous structures because they both perform the same function (flying) yet belong to different animals that evolved separately.
Choice (A) can be rejected because it refers to where the animals live rather than the animals’ body parts. Choice (C) may be tempting, but it refers to the same body part from the same species rather than different species. You can reject Choice (D) because it refers to body parts that do not perform the same function.