Lesson summary for:
The Making of the Fittest: The Birth and Death of Genes
This 13-minute film describes how scientists have pieced together the evolutionary history of the Antarctic icefish by studying its genome – an excellent case study for genetic evolution as both the gain and loss of genes have led to key adaptations.
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
HHMI provides a variety of teacher resources to accompany this video: an in-depth film guide, student quiz, two demonstrations and three student lessons
- There is a fit between organisms and their environments, though not always a perfect fit.
- An organism’s features reflect its evolutionary history.
- Evolution results from selection acting upon genetic variation within a population.
- Mutations are random.
- Traits that confer an advantage may persist in the population and are called adaptations.
- Inherited characteristics affect the likelihood of an organism's survival and reproduction.
- Natural selection acts on the variation that exists in a population.
- Natural selection acts on phenotype as an expression of genotype.
- Organisms cannot intentionally produce adaptive mutations in response to environmental influences.
- Populations, not individuals, evolve.
- Over time, the proportion of individuals with advantageous characteristics may increase (and the proportion with disadvantageous characteristics may decrease) due to their likelihood of surviving and reproducing.
- A hallmark of science is exposing ideas to testing.
- Scientists test their ideas using multiple lines of evidence.
- There is variation within a population.
- Evolution occurs through multiple mechanisms.
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