**   This quiz is adapted from material I received through the Bio-Chem mentor network.   The material does not have a copyright.   I would be happy to give credit to the specific author if they would let me know they did this.

Beaks of Finches  (Lab Practice Quiz)

1.    Explain how this lab simulated the following concepts of natural selection.

a.  variation
b.  competition for resources
c.  adaptation
d.  selecting agent

2.    How could finches have such different beaks yet come from the same ancestor?

3.    List a specific trait "the finch" in this lab possessed and discuss its adaptive value.

4.    Describe the role of the environment as a selecting agent.

5.    Name two traits of finches other than beak characteristics.

Read the following paragraph and use the diagram below to answer the questions which follow below.

The medium ground finch is found on several of the Galapagos Islands.    This species of bird prefers to eat small seeds, which are easier to eat than large seeds.    However, when food is scarce, such as during a drought, some of the small ground finches can eat larger seeds.   The ability to eat larger seeds is inherited.    The birds with thicker beaks crush seeds more easily.   Medium ground finches are least likely to be found on islands with large producer populations, species of large ground finches, more variation in seed size, and abundant rainfall.      

Adaptations of Galapagos Island Finches (adapted from Galapagos: 
                                                                                             A Natural History Guide)

6.      Describe changes that would occur in the ground finch population during a long period of 
         drought when food is scarce.

7.     Explain how this set of changes is an example of natural selection.

8.     State one difference between the beaks of small ground finches and beaks of small tree finches.

9.    Would you expect the small ground finches and small tree finches to compete for food on
       the island?   Support your answer with evidence.

10.  Explain how the island could support a large population of both large ground finches and small
       ground finches.

11.  How is the beak of the cactus finch adapted to its feeding habits? 

12.  Which finch species is least likely to survive a severe drought that reduces the animal population
        on the island?   Support your answer with an explanation.

13. Explain how the "beaks of finches lab" completed in your class displays the Theory of Natural Selection. (or survival of the fittest)

14. What examples of adaptations were evident in the finches of the Galapagos Island?

15. Describe two factors that can limit the amount of competition between species in a given area.

16. Describe the most successful beak shape for eating small seeds.

17. How does the environment act as a selecting agent on the original island?

18.  Describe a disaster (natural or manmade) that could affect an ecosystem.   Then describe 3 ways that this disaster would affect the biodiversity of the ecosystem.

Use the evolutionary tree below to answer the questions 19 & 20.


19. Which two organisms are more closely related? Explain

20. Which finch is the common ancestor to the finch that eats fruit and the finch that eats insects?

21. In the past, a specific antibiotic was effective in killing a certain species of bacteria. Now, most 
      members of this bacterial species are resistant to this antibiotic. Explain how this species of bacteria 
      has become resistant. Your answer must include at least the concepts of:
      overproduction [1]
      variation [1]
      natural selection [1]
      adaptation to the environment [1]

22. Explain how the loss of biodiversity relates to the following:

Multiple Choice Section

23. Darwin's studies of finches on the Galapagos Islands suggest that the finches' differences in 
      beak structure were most directly due to  (1.) acquired characteristics in the parent finches 
      (2.) mating behaviors of the different finch species 
      (3.) the size of the island where the finches live 
      (4.) adaptations of the finches to different environments 

24. Base your answer on the given information and statement. Information: The Galapagos Islands in 
      the Pacific were probably never connected to South America. However, in the various habitats on 
      the islands, there are about 14 species of finch-like birds that appear to be related to the finches on 
      the South American mainland. Although the Galapagos finches vary in beak structure, there is a 
      close resemblance between these species in plumage, calls, nests, and eggs. These species do 
      not interbreed and do not compete for food. 

      Statement: Isolation from the South American mainland and different habitats on the 
      Galapagos Islands are important factors in the production of new species. 

(1.) The statement is supported by the information given. 
(2.) The statement is contradicted by the information given. 
(3.) The statement is not supported by the information given. 
(4.) No relevant information is given regarding the statement. 

25. Which situation would most likely result in the highest rate of natural selection? 
       (1.) reproduction of organisms by an asexual method in an unchanging environment 
       (2.) reproduction of organisms in an unchanging environment with little competition and few predators 
       (3.) reproduction of a species having a very low mutation rate in a changing environment 
       (4.) reproduction of organisms exhibiting genetic differences due to mutations and genetic 
       recombination in a changing environment 

Link to the quiz answers