Life on Earth Worksheet Essay

1176 Words May 28th, 2014 5 Pages
Name : _____Ashley Vernet_______
Chapter 17: Life on Earth
Activity designed by Kathleen Rudolph

Taxa to explore – Elephants!!
1. Review terms (write definitions for these terms)
Extant
Species, families, or groups still in existence
Extinct
Species, families, or groups no longer in existence, end or died out
Genotype
Genetic make-up of an organism
Phenotype
Physical attributes of an organism, observable or measurable traits
Synapomorphy
Shared characteristic that are inherited from most recent common ancestor

Background: There are three extant species of elephant: Elaphas maximus (Asian elephants), Loxodonta africana (African elephants), and Loxodonta cyclotis (African forest elephants). Their taxonomic
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The phylogeny described in this paper is based on molecular data (similarities in DNA sequences)

10. Based on that phylogeny, write in the sister taxon (taxon A) to Proboscidea.
Give the formal name.

Taxon A or Sirenia Proboscidea

11. Write in the taxon (taxon B) that is sister to the clade composed of (Proboscidea + Taxon A). Give formal name

Taxon B or Taxon A Proboscidea Hyracoidea

12. Perform an internet search for these two taxa and find out their common names.
What are their common names? Describe each.
The common name for Sirenia is Sea Cow. Sea cows are fully aquatic, herbivorous mammals that appear fat. They have forelimbs used for steering and a tail used for paddling. The common name for Hyracoidea are hyraxes. Hyraxes are well-furred animals with short tails and have poor internal temperature regulation.

What was your thought/reaction upon discovering what these creatures are?
My thought reaction was how can animals that look nothing alike be similar to an elephant if they visually look different.

Believe it or not, there are morphological (phenotypic) similarities as well as dietary and behavioral similarities between all of these taxa. BEFORE molecular data was available, scientists already suspected that these groups were