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The unity among species, as evidenced in the fossil record, similarities in DNA and other biomolecules, anatomical structures, and embryonic development, is the result of evolution. Evolution also explains the diversity within and among species. Evolution by natural selection is the result of environmental factors selecting for and against genetic traits. Traits that allow an individual to survive and reproduce are likely to increase in the next generation, causing the proportions of specific traits to change within a population. Over longer periods of time, changes in proportions of traits due to natural selection and changes in selective pressures can cause both speciation and extinction. Changes in environmental conditions impact biodiversity in ecosystems affect the natural selection of species.

Standard BIO.4.2

Construct an explanation based on evidence that natural selection is a primary cause of evolution. Emphasize that natural selection is primarily caused by the potential for a species to increase in number, the heritable genetic variation of individuals in a species due to mutation and sexual reproduction, competition for limited resources, and the proliferation of those organisms that are better able to survive and reproduce in the environment. (LS2.D, LS4.B, LS4.C)

  • Asexual Reproduction
    What do hydras, planarians, and starfish have in common?Information and examples of asexual reproduction.
  • Sexual Reproduction
    What do you know about gametes, meiosis, fertilization, patterns and cycles of animal reproduction?

UEN logo - in partnership with Utah State Board of Education (USBE) and Utah System of Higher Education (USHE).  Send questions or comments to USBE Specialist - Richard  Scott and see the Science - Secondary website. For general questions about Utah's Core Standards contact the Director - Jennifer  Throndsen.

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