About This Chapter
MCAS STE Biology: Evolution & Biodiversity - Chapter Summary
The lessons in this chapter will examine the evidence supporting the theory of evolution and explain the factors involved in biodiversity. After completing this chapter you will have reviewed:
- Theory of evolution
- Evidence supporting evolution
- How to define a species
- Process of natural selection and adaptation
- Kinds of natural selection
- Sympatric and allopatric speciation
- Prezygotic and postzygotic barriers to speciation
- Gene variation and random mutations
- Artificial selection
Each of the lessons have been developed by professionals to effectively illustrate the material. Watch the video lessons and refer to the video transcripts for text-based learning. You will find a clickable timeline below each video you can use to return to a particular portion of the lesson if you'd like to review it. Take the self-assessment quiz at the end of each lesson to see how questions may appear on the MCAS STE Biology exam.
MCAS STE Biology: Evolution & Biodiversity - Chapter Summary
The MCAS STE Biology exam is a standardized test taken by high school students in Massachusetts. The exam assesses a student's level of educational mastery in biology as decided by the Massachusetts Curriculum Framework. The test is scored based on five main content areas. The information covered in this chapter prepares you for questions in the Evolution and Biodiversity content area, which account for 20% of the total score.
The MCAS STE Biology exam is one of four Science and Technology/Engineering exams taken by high school students in Massachusetts. The test is comprised of 40 multiple-choice questions and 5 open-ended responses. You will need a score of 220 or higher on one of the four STE exams to qualify for high school graduation.
1. 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.
2. Evidence for Evolution: Paleontology, Biogeography, Embryology, Comparative Anatomy & Molecular Biology
There is much support for the theory of evolution. This evidence comes from a variety of scientific fields and provides information that helps us trace changes in species over time. In this lesson, we'll look at this evidence and explore how it supports the theory of evolution.
3. What is a Species? - Definition & Explanation
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification. It most commonly refers to a group of physically similar organisms that can exchange genetic information and produce fertile offspring. Learn more in this lesson.
4. What is Biodiversity? - Definition and Relation to Ecosystem Stability
Imagine making a list of all of the species you have ever heard of; it would be an enormous list! There are many different species on this planet. This lesson will explore the diversity of species, as well as the different types of diversity and how diversity of life is essential for maintaining healthy ecosystems.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. Genetic Variability and Random Mutation
Evolution is driven by variation among populations. The amount of variability determines how well a population can adapt to environmental changes, while random mutations can provide new variations that help a population adapt to unexpected changes.
11. Artificial Selection in Evolution
Humans have been selectively breeding for desirable traits in plants and animals for a long time. This artificial selection allows for a lot of control in the breeding process but can also lead to unintended mutations within a population of organisms.
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Other chapters within the MCAS - Science & Technology-Engineering - Biology: Test Prep & Practice course
- MCAS STE Biology: Chemistry of Life
- MCAS STE Biology: Enzymatic Biochemistry
- MCAS STE Biology: Organelles
- MCAS STE Biology: Cellular Structure & Transport
- MCAS STE Biology: Classification & Evolution
- MCAS STE Biology: Cellular Respiration & Photosynthesis
- MCAS STE Biology: Cell Growth & Reproduction
- MCAS STE Biology: DNA Replication
- MCAS STE Biology: Transcription & Translation
- MCAS STE Biology: Genetics & Heredity
- MCAS STE Biology: Digestive & Circulatory Systems
- MCAS STE Biology: Nervous & Endocrine Systems
- MCAS STE Biology: Respiratory & Musculoskeletal Systems
- MCAS STE Biology: The Reproductive System
- MCAS STE Biology: Ecology
- MCAS STE Biology: Scientific Method & Inquiry
- MCAS STE Biology: The Science Lab
- MCAS STE Biology: Using Mathematics in Science
- MCAS - Science & Technology-Engineering - Biology Flashcards