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Ch 50: Evolution & Natural Selection for the MCAT: Help and Review

About This Chapter

The Evolution and Natural Selection chapter of this MCAT Prep Help and Review course is the simplest way to master evolution and natural selection. This chapter uses simple and fun videos that are about five minutes long, plus lesson quizzes and a chapter exam to ensure students learn the essentials of evolution and natural selection for the MCAT.

Who's it for?

Anyone who needs help learning or mastering MCAT material will benefit from taking this course. There is no faster or easier way to prepare for the MCAT. Among those who would benefit are:

  • Students who have fallen behind in understanding environmental and biological factors contributing to evolutionary change
  • Students who struggle with learning disabilities or learning differences, including autism and ADHD
  • Students who prefer multiple ways of learning science (visual or auditory)
  • Students who have missed class time and need to catch up
  • Students who need an efficient way to learn about evolution and natural selection for the MCAT
  • Students who struggle to understand their teachers
  • Students who attend schools without extra science learning resources

How it works:

  • Find videos in our course that cover what you need to learn or review.
  • Press play and watch the video lesson.
  • Refer to the video transcripts to reinforce your learning.
  • Test your understanding of each lesson with short quizzes.
  • Verify you're ready by completing the Evolution and Natural Selection chapter exam.

Why it works:

  • Study Efficiently: Skip what you know, review what you don't.
  • Retain What You Learn: Engaging animations and real-life examples make topics easy to grasp.
  • Be Ready on Test Day: Use the Evolution and Natural Selection chapter exam to be prepared.
  • Get Extra Support: Ask our subject-matter experts any evolution and natural selection question. They're here to help!
  • Study With Flexibility: Watch videos on any web-ready device.

Students will review:

This chapter helps students review the concepts in an evolution and natural selection unit of a standard science course. Topics covered include:

  • Adaptation
  • Types of natural selection
  • Differential reproduction
  • Natural and group selection
  • Allopatric and sympatric speciation
  • Prezygotic barriers to reproduction
  • Postzygotic barriers to reproduction
  • The theory of evolution
  • Ecosystems, habitats and ecological niches
  • Mutualism, commensalism and parasitism
  • Interspecific competition and competitive exclusion
  • Divergent, parallel and convergent evolution
  • Carrying capacity, migration and dispersion
  • Population density and survivorship
  • Cladograms and phylogenetic trees
  • Ontogeny and phylogeny
  • Theories on the origin of life on Earth
  • Forms of evolutionary change

14 Lessons in Chapter 50: Evolution & Natural Selection for the MCAT: Help and Review
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Natural Selection & Adaptation: Definition, Theory & Examples

1. Natural Selection & Adaptation: Definition, Theory & Examples

How does natural selection help shape the amazing types of animals we witness around us? In this lesson, we'll explore adaptations and what they can tell us about a species' past evolution.

Natural Selection: Definition, Types & Examples

2. Natural Selection: Definition, Types & Examples

We'll take a look at the types of natural selection that can occur. From flying hamsters to moths, you'll start to grasp the different paths organisms can take as they respond to their changing environments over time.

Speciation: Allopatric and Sympatric Speciation

3. Speciation: Allopatric and Sympatric Speciation

Discover the definition of a species and learn more about how species split. Find out common terms related to the splitting of species and study what role polyploidy plays in the development of a species.

Prezygotic Reproductive Barriers & Speciation: Definition & Examples

4. Prezygotic Reproductive Barriers & Speciation: Definition & Examples

We may take for granted why animals choose to mate with other animals of similar appearance, but it's not that simple. There are actually biological barriers to reproduction that can prevent even seemingly closely related species from reproducing. This lesson looks at one such category of hindrances, prezygotic barriers, which make fertilization impossible.

Postzygotic Reproductive Barriers: Definition & Examples

5. Postzygotic Reproductive Barriers: Definition & Examples

Do flying hamsters represent a separate species from your run-of-the-mill hamsters? We'll get to the bottom of this by performing crosses between the two hamster types. You'll explore postzygotic reproductive barriers and their possibly tragic consequences.

Theories of Evolution: Lamarck vs. Darwin

6. Theories of Evolution: Lamarck vs. Darwin

We'll look at the interplay between population genetics and environment. Are traits individually acquired or do entire populations evolve? The flying hamsters and a few other notable experiments will provide the answers.

Ecosystems, Habitats and Ecological Niches

7. Ecosystems, Habitats and Ecological Niches

Check out this video lesson to understand the many complex aspects of an ecosystem. See how animals live in habitats and survive amongst their surroundings.

Symbiotic Relationships: Mutualism, Commensalism & Parasitism

8. Symbiotic Relationships: Mutualism, Commensalism & Parasitism

If your cat or dog has ever had fleas, you've witnessed symbiosis in action. In this lesson, learn the many types of symbiosis in biology, and how these relationships can have a positive, negative, or neutral effect on the individual species.

Interspecific Competition, Competitive Exclusion & Niche Differentiation

9. Interspecific Competition, Competitive Exclusion & Niche Differentiation

What happens when two similar species that consume the same resources occupy the same space? Interspecific competition, that's what! Watch our video lesson to learn about the outcomes of this ecological battle.

Carrying Capacity, Migration & Dispersion

10. Carrying Capacity, Migration & Dispersion

Have you ever wondered why some types of birds fly south in the winter or why some animals form territories? Watch this video to learn about a species' maximum growth capabilities, the way its members group themselves and why they might migrate to new locations every year.

Populations: Density, Survivorship and Life Histories

11. Populations: Density, Survivorship and Life Histories

Have you ever wondered how biologists determine the populations of animals in a particular geographic area? Watch this video lesson to find out, and discover how scientists look at the survivorship and life histories of many different species.

Cladograms and Phylogenetic Trees: Evolution Classifications

12. Cladograms and Phylogenetic Trees: Evolution Classifications

Family trees help show how people are related to each other. Similarly, scientists use cladograms and phylogenetic trees to study the relationships between organisms.

The Origin of Life on Earth: Theories and Explanations

13. The Origin of Life on Earth: Theories and Explanations

Ever wonder how living things came from non-living things? We will explore what conditions on early Earth may have created life from non-living items.

Evolutionary Change: Definition and Forms

14. Evolutionary Change: Definition and Forms

You've probably heard of Charles Darwin and evolution. We know that evolution is change over time, but here we will look at how these changes may have occurred during Earth's history.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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Other Chapters

Other chapters within the MCAT Prep: Help and Review course

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