Evidence from Living species


Is this evidence of evolution?

Take a nearby look at this gorilla hand. The similarity to a person hand are remarkable. Comparing anatomy, and also characterizing the similarities and also differences, provides proof of evolution.

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Comparative Anatomy

Comparative anatomy is the research of the similarities and also differences in the structures of different species. Comparable body parts might be homologies or analogies. Both administer evidence because that evolution.

Homologous structures space structures the are similar in associated organisms because they were inherited native a usual ancestor. This structures may or may not have actually the same role in the descendants. Figure below shows the hands of several various mammals. Castle all have the same an easy pattern that bones. They inherited this pattern from a usual ancestor. However, your forelimbs currently have different functions.


The forelimbs of every mammals have actually the same an easy bone structure.

Analogous structures room structures the are comparable in unrelated organisms. The frameworks are similar because they progressed to do the exact same job, not because they to be inherited indigenous a usual ancestor. For example, the wing of bats and also birds, displayed in Figure below, look similar on the outside. They also have the very same function. However, wings progressed independently in the two teams of animals. This is noticeable when you to compare the pattern of bones within the wings.


Wings the bats and also birds serve the same function. Look closely at the bones within the wings. The differences show they developed from different ancestors.

Comparative Embryology

Comparative embryology is the examine of the similarities and also differences in the embryos of different species. Similarity in embryos are proof of typical ancestry. All vertebrate embryos, for example, have gill slits and tails. Many vertebrates, except for fish, shed their gill slits by adulthood. Few of them also lose their tail. In humans, the tail is diminished to the tail bone. Thus, similarities biology share as embryos might be unable to do by adulthood. This is why it is valuable to to compare organisms in the embryonic stage. Seehttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/04/2/pdf/l_042_03.pdf for added information and a comparative diagram of human, monkey, pig, chicken and also salamander embryos.

Vestigial Structures

Structures choose the human tail bone and whale pelvis are referred to as vestigial structures. Evolution has diminished their size because the structures space no longer used. The human being appendix is an additional example of a vestigial structure. It is a tiny remnant the a once-larger organ. In a distant ancestor, that was required to digest food. It serves no function in people today. Why execute you think frameworks that room no longer used shrink in size? Why can a full-sized, unused structure minimize an organism’s fitness?

Comparing DNA

Darwin could compare only the anatomy and embryos of living things. Today, scientists have the right to compare your DNA. Similar DNA sequences room the strongest evidence for development from a usual ancestor. Much more similarities in the DNA succession is evidence for a closer evolutionary relationship. Look at the cladogram in the Figure below. The shows exactly how humans and also apes room related based on their DNA sequences.

Evolution and molecules are discussed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvJFI3ChOUU(3:52).


Cladogram the Humans and Apes. This cladogram is based on DNA comparisons. It shows just how humans are regarded apes by lower from typical ancestors.

Using various varieties of information to know evolutionary relationships is discussed in the following videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZc1t2Os6UU (3:38),http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IRz85QNjz0 (6:45), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgyTVT3dqGY (10:51).

KQED: The Reverse advancement Machine

In find of the usual ancestor of every mammals, university of California Santa Cruz scientist David Haussler is pulling a complete reversal. Instead of researching fossils, he"s to compare the genomes of life mammals to build a map of our common ancestors" DNA. He also specializes in studying the DNA of die out animals, asking exactly how the DNA has changed over countless years to develop today"s species. His technique, described as computational genomics, holds promise for providing a better picture of just how life evolved. Seehttp://www.kqed.org/quest/televis...lution-machine for much more information.

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Use this resource to answer the concerns that follow.

Distinguish between homology and also analogy. Just how are tetrapod limbs similar to every other? give four instances of homologous tetrapod limbs. Give an example of a homologous framework in insects. What can occur to homologous frameworks of different species over time? Why room tetrapod and octopus limbs not homologous?
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