Explaining & Analyzing Processes of Life in Biology: Practice Problems

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson gives you plenty to think about with respect to biology. You'll get several opportunities to practice your understanding of the various processes involved in biology.

Now that you've completed the lessons in this course, use the exercises shown here to practice applying your newfound knowledge. This is not a mandatory part of your coursework but is useful practice.


Biology is not an easy topic to learn because a lot of intricate interrelationships between biological processes exist. Biology is much like the butterfly effect in the sense that one minor change in one system can reverberate throughout an entire organism or even multiple organisms. It's up to biologists to figure out how and why these changes occur.

All in all, this is why biology is best learned not through a series of specific multiple choice questions that test your memorization of facts but through questions that make you think about the big picture. If you can understand a biological process as a whole, you won't have to memorize a lot of little details. Rather, they should all fall into place.

So let's get to a few of these questions that will make you think! Not all of the questions you are about to read have a definite answer. Feel free to use outside resources to help you answer them, but try to come up with a hypothesis of your own first before seeing what some scientists think to be the correct answer.

History of Life on Earth

Using what you know about biological processes, hypothesize why some scientists believe an increase in the amount of oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere led to an increase in the amount of organisms on earth or, at the very least, to their increased size in prehistoric times.

The Principles of Evolution

Using your knowledge about the major principles of evolution, describe why humans have the features that they do. You should pick at least 5 features.

You can focus on things like why we have little body hair compared to other animals. Or, why we utilize glucose for energy. Or, perhaps, why our eyes face forward, why our appendix is so small, or why we walk on two legs. There are plenty of things you may choose.

In the end, for each feature, you must describe how evolutionary processes may have affected or shaped our morphological or physiological characteristics.

Organism Classification

Create a Venn Diagram or a chart that clearly compares and contrasts the major distinctions between six different kingdoms of living things. How do you believe these differences have helped or not helped the members of each kingdom survive, reproduce, or even dominate our planet?

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