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Evidence for Evolution: Biogeography

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Aidan Kemper

on 14 September 2014

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Transcript of Evidence for Evolution: Biogeography

Example 1: Sugar Glider & Flying Squirrel
The Sugar Glider is a marsupial native to Australia, and found also in Tasmania and several Oceanic islands
The Flying Squirrel is native to North America, with several species also found in Asia
Despite the geographic disparity between the native habitats of the Sugar Glider and the Flying Squirrel, the two have several similar features, such as:
Compact, rodent-like body structure
-Membrane connecting their forelimbs to hind limbs, allowing them to glide through the air

This unique adaption provides evidence that different species in similar environments across the world will often evolve in the same way in order to survive in their habitat, despite living in completely different locations, and therefore likely lacking a common ancestor
Example 2: Hopping Mouse & Jerboa
Example 3: Penguins & Auks
The penguin is found almost exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere, especially in Antarctica
The Auk is a similar bird found in the Northern Hemisphere, especially around North America and Europe
Penguins and auks share similar characteristics such as:
upright posture
-hunting through wing-propelled pursuit diving
-hindered mobility on land and in air in exchange for heightened swimming ability
These similarities suggest biogeographically transcendent evolutionary patterns. Despite the geographic distance between the birds' habitats, their similar hunting styles and body structures both have evolved for use in semi-aquatic lifestyles.
Example 4: Tegu Lizards and
Monitor Lizards
The Tegu Lizard is a reptile found primarily in South America
The Monitor Lizard is a similar reptile found in Asia and parts of Africa
The two species share similar characteristics such as:
-large size
-concealing of their eggs for offsprings' protection
-omnivorous diet
-ability to submerge in water for long periods of time (semiaquatic)
These similarities in behavior and body size show that natural selection favors these traits for reptiles living in damp, fertile habitats with high degrees of biodiversity (hence the omnivorous diet and protection of eggs from predators). Despite existing in different hemispheres, the similar environments of Tegu and Monitor lizards have resulted in many of the same physical and behavior traits, those most useful for surviving and reproducing in a certain environment.
Example 5: Peacock Bass and Largemouth Bass
The Peacock Bass is a species of fish found in South America, especially the Amazon River
Largemouth Bass are found in North America, in and around the Atlantic
The two share characteristics such as:
large size
-horizontal stripe across flank to deter predators
-aggressive fighting behavior when threatened
These shared characteristics show the evolution of bass into carnivorous fish that still possess many natural predators. Their shared behavioral traits, distinctive size, and markings are characteristics which have ensured the best chance of both these species surviving in their environments, which are relatively similar, despite being thousands of miles apart. This shows that evolution will occur consistently with an animal's environment despite geographic location differences.
By: Aidan Kemper
Period 2A

Evidence for Evolution: Biogeography
Australian Sugar Glider
N. American Flying Squirrel
The Hopping Mouse is a rodent native to Australia
The Jerboa is a rodent found mainly in North Africa and Asia
The two species possess similar characteristics such as:
-small, round body
-large, well-developed hind legs
-bipedal hopping movement
-seed-dependent diet
-nocturnal sleep cycle
-burrowing behavior
These similarities between the two species are the result of natural selection of characteristics suited to a desert environment, found in both Australia and North Africa/Asia. This suggests that no matter where in the world an animal's habitat is, two habitats with similar environmental features (in this case, hot weather and sparsity of plant life) will produce animals with similarly adapted characteristics.
Hopping Mouse
Tegu lizard
Monitor lizard
Peacock Bass
Largemouth Bass
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