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Biology (MindTap Course List)

11th Edition
Eldra Solomon + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337392938

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Biology (MindTap Course List)

11th Edition
Eldra Solomon + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337392938
Textbook Problem

Discuss the pace of evolution by describing punctuated equilibrium and phyletic gradualism.

Summary Introduction

To explain: The pace of evolution by describing punctuated equilibrium and phyletic gradualism.

Introduction: Inheritance is the basis of evolution. The process of formation of new and distinct descendants from a common ancestor is termed as speciation. It is an important process of evolutionary relationships. The study of the evolution of an organism is termed as phylogeny.

Explanation

Evolution is a complex process. The evolutionary history of an organism mostly represents a starting and ending point. One can look for the ancestor and descendant from a phylogeny study, but it does not provide the complete transaction history of an organism.

Evolution may be rapid or slow. A different organism evolves with a different pace. Some may evolve very rapidly from their ancestors, whereas the others may show very slow evolution. Therefore, the two modes used to study the pace of evolution are as follows:

  • Punctuated equilibrium:

    This was given by Niles and Stephan. It is a hypothesized theory in phylogeny which states that “a population becomes stable or comes at equilibrium once it appears in the fossil records”...

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