Copyright

Ch 10: Evolution & Natural Selection

About This Chapter

Review the elements of evolution and natural selection to prepare for the MCAT exam. Video lessons and quizzes incorporate all of the elements of the evolution and natural selection section in a simple and clear manner.

Evolution & Natural Selection - Chapter Summary

Use the following review lessons to learn about the different types of natural selection and the theory of evolution. Our video lessons cover the following materials:

  • Postzygotic and prezygotic barriers
  • Sympatric and allopatric speciation
  • Phylogenetic trees and cladograms
  • Theories for the origin of life
  • Populations

This chapter also helps you understand parallel, divergent and convergent evolution. Learn about these concepts by watching our short video lessons that are easy to understand. Coupled with our video lessons are quizzes that provide you with immediate feedback. Your quiz results help you identify your strengths, weaknesses and preparedness to answer evolution and natural selection questions on the MCAT's biological sciences section.

Evolution & Natural Selection Objectives

MCAT evolution and natural selection section objectives indicate that you should know concepts that include:

  • Comparative anatomy
  • Polymorphism
  • Outbreeding and inbreeding
  • Parasitism, mutualism and commensalism
  • Phylogeny and ontogeny relationships

The MCAT's biological sciences section requires you to answer 52 multiple-choice questions. These questions are divided in to 13 independent questions and seven sets of questions based on passages. Each passage has four to seven corresponding questions. You will be allotted up to 70 minutes to complete the biological sciences section. In addition to the biological sciences section and an optional trial section, the MCAT also features sections focusing on physical sciences and verbal reasoning.

14 Lessons in Chapter 10: Evolution & Natural Selection
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.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Other Chapters

Other chapters within the MCAT Test: Practice and Study Guide course

Support