Discussion Question 1
Question 1: Evolution and Taxonomy
Select one species of organism that is interesting to you (try to pick something different from your classmates’ choices—you only have about two million to choose from). Show the hierarchy of classification for the organism you choose from Domain through to binomial name (genus and species). Be sure to write the names in correct format and to spell correctly.
What are the nearest relatives of your chosen species? How do the levels of classification for your species trace the major evolutionary steps the ancestors of your species took over time? Be prepared to discuss similarities and differences in the evolution of diversity in the examples chosen by your classmates.
Discussion Question 2
Question 2: Innovation and Diversity
Over the long period of time that life has existed on Earth, there have been a number of important or significant innovations including (but not limited to) endosymbiosis to create mitochondria and chloroplasts; multicellularity; adaptation to land by plants and animals; development of exoskeletons in arthropods, shells in molluscs, and notochords followed by vertebral columns in chordates and vertebrates; and bipedalism in the ancestry of humans. All of these had to come about by natural selection in response to changing environmental forces.
Pick one of these significant innovations and describe:
a. How the innovation appears to have happened
b. What environmental challenges were met and overcome by this innovation, and
c. What opportunities were opened for the organism that made this innovation.
Be prepared to discuss the general concept of innovation and opportunity in response to selective challenges in life and how this can greatly increase biodiversity over time.