French scientist Jean Baptiste de Lamarck (1744-1829)Lamarck was one of the 1st to propose a unifying hypothesis of species modificationHypothesis of acquired traits was later disproved, but was important stepping stone to modern evolutionary theory.Lamarck’s hypotheses were attacked by many scientists who rejected the theory of evolution.
Agreed with views of Thomas Malthus about population growth & decline.Significant changes in environmental conditions, such as temperature/climate or food availability can stimulate rapid evolutionary change.
Lamarck’s Explanation Lamarck was 1st to suggest that similar species descended from a shared common ancestor Related living species to fossil forms based on shared appearances Hypothesized that acquired traits—those that are not determined by genes but result from organism’s experience or behavior—are passed on to offspring
Charles Darwin In mid-1800s both Charles Darwin & Alfred Wallace independently hypothesized that evolution occurred through natural selection. Natural Selection: the process by which organisms with favorable variations reproduce at higher rates than those without such variations Increase of favorable traits within a population over time
Voyage of the Beagle Darwin embarked on a 5-yr expedition on the H.M.S. Beagle to South America & the South Pacific as a ship naturalist in 1831 Carefully recorded observations & collected 1000s of specimen & fossils Darwin’s interest in geology spurred by the book Principles of Geology, by Charles Lyell Empasized Uniformitarianism: principle that states that the geological structure of Earth resulted from cycles of observable processes & that these processes operate continuously Led Darwin to conclude that modification of environments is very slow process that occurs over long periods of time
Analysis of Darwin’s Data Darwin’s data & specimen collected earned him great praise when the Beagle returned to England in 1836 Analysis of 13 different finch species collected from the Galapagos Islands showed that they were very similar, aside from bill adaptations for particular food sources Indicated a recent common ancestor Led Darwin to reason that large differences can accumulate between similar species over millions of yrs 1859 published his work on evolution by natural selection in famous book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection
Darwin’s First Theory Decent With Modification: states that newer forms of a species that appear in the fossil record are modified descendents of older forms of the species Took this theory a step further than Lamarck by inferring that ALL species have evolved from one or a few original forms of life
Darwin’s Second Theory Modification by Natural Selection: An organism’s environment limits population growth by increasing death rate or decreasing birth rate Some organisms acquire traits that make them better able to adapt to their environment Traits that increase reproductive success or fitness of an organism & are inherited will be passed on to offspring Results in change of genetic makeup of population over time Favorability of traits depends on environmental demands—favorable traits give adaptive advantage Several broad types of Natural Selection…
Stabilizing Selection Individuals with the average form of a trait have the highest fitness.
Directional Selection Individuals that display a more extreme form of a trait have greater fitness than those with an average form of the trait.
Disruptive Selection Individuals with either extreme variation of a trait have greater fitness than individuals with the average form of the trait.
Sexual Selection The preferential choice of a mate based on a specific phenotypic trait. In many species, the male is often more Examples: bright coloration, heavy plumage