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NCERT Solutions Class 12 Biology Chapter 6 - Evolution

Q1: Explain antibiotic resistance observed in bacteria in light of Darwinian selection theory.
Ans: Darwinian selection theory states that individuals with favourable variations are better adapted than individuals with less favourable variation.
Fig: Darwinian selection theoryFig: Darwinian selection theoryIt means that nature selects the individuals with useful variation as these individuals are better evolved to survive in the existing environment. An example of such selection is antibiotic resistance in bacteria.When bacterial population was grown on an agar plate containing antibiotic penicillin, the colonies that were sensitive to penicillin died, whereas one or few bacterial colonies that were resistant to penicillin survived. This is because these bacteria had undergone chance mutation, which resulted in the evolution of a gene that made them resistant to penicillin drug. Hence, the resistant bacteria multiplied quickly as compared to non-resistant (sensitive) bacteria, thereby increasing their number. Hence, the advantage of an individual over other helps in the struggle for existence.

Q2: Find out from newspapers and popular science articles any new fossil discoveries or controversies about evolution. 
Ans: Fossils of dinosaurs have revealed the evolution of reptiles in Jurassic period. As a result of this, evolution of other animals such as birds and mammals has also been discovered. However, two unusual fossils recently unearthed in China have ignited a controversy over the evolution of birds. Confuciusornis is one such genus of primitive birds that were crow sized and lived during the Creataceous period in China.

Q3: Attempt giving a clear definition of the term species 
Ans: Species can be defined as a group of organisms, which have the capability to interbreed in order to produce fertile offspring.

SpeciesSpecies


Q4: Try to trace the various components of human evolution (hint: brain size and function, skeletal structure, dietary preference, etc.) 
Ans: The various components of human evolution are as follows.

  • Size of the brain
  • Body posture
  • Food habits/dietary preferences
  • Characteristics/features

The following table depicts the same:
NCERT Solutions Class 12 Biology Chapter 6 - Evolution
Q5: Find out through internet and popular science articles whether animals other than man have self-consciousness.
Ans: There are many animals other than humans, which have self-consciousness. An example of an animal being self-conscious is dolphins. They are highly intelligent. They have a sense of self and they also recognize others among themselves and others. They communicate with each other by whistles, tail slapping, and other body movements. Not only dolphins, there are certain other animals such as crow, parrot, chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, etc., which exhibit self-consciousness.

Q6: List 10 modern-day animals and using the internet resources link it to a corresponding ancient fossil. Name both. 
Ans: The modern day animals and their ancient fossils are listed in the following table:
NCERT Solutions Class 12 Biology Chapter 6 - Evolution
Q7: Practice drawing various animals and plants. 
Ans: Ask your teachers and parents to suggest the names of plants and animals and practice drawing them. You can also take help from your book to find the names of plants and animals.

Q8: Describe one example of adaptive radiation.
Ans: Adaptive radiation is an evolutionary process that produces new species from a single, rapidly diversifying lineage. 

Adaptive RadationAdaptive Radation

This process occurs due to natural selection. An example of adaptive radiation is Darwin finches, found in Galapagos Island. A large variety of finches is present in Galapagos Island that arose from a single species, which reached this land accidentally. As a result, many new species have evolved, diverged, and adapted to occupy new habitats. These finches have developed different eating habits and different types of beaks to suit their feeding habits. The insectivorous, blood sucking, and other species of finches with varied dietary habits have evolved from a single seed eating finch ancestor.

Q9: Can we call human evolution as adaptive radiation? 
Ans: No, human evolution cannot be called adaptive radiation. This is because adaptive radiation is an evolutionary process that produces new species from a single, rapidly diversifying lineage, which is not the case with human evolution. Human evolution is a gradual process that took place slowly in time. It represents an example of anagenesis.

Q10: Using various resources such as your school library or the internet and discussions with your teacher, trace the evolutionary stages of any one animal say horse. 
Ans: The evolution of horse started with Eohippus during Eocene period. It involved the following evolutionary stages.
1. Gradual increase in body size
2. Elongation of head and neck region
3. Increase in the length of limbs and feet
4. Gradual reduction of lateral digits
5. Enlargement of third functional toe
6. Strengthening of the back
7. Development of brain and sensory organs
8. Increase in the complexity of teeth for feeding on grass
The evolution of horse is represented as

Evolution of horseEvolution of horse

(i) Eohippus: It had a short head and neck. It had four functional toes and a splint of 1 and 5 on each hind limb and a splint of 1 and 3 in each forelimb. The molars were short crowned that were adapted for grinding the plant diet.
(ii) Mesohippus: It was slightly taller than Eohippus. It had three toes in each foot.
(iii) Merychippus: It had the size of approximately 100 cm. Although it still had three toes in each foot, but it could run on one toe. The side toe did not touch the ground. The molars were adapted for chewing the grass.
(iv) Pliohippus: It resembled the modern horse and was around 108 cm tall. It had a single functional toe with splint of 2nd and 4th in each limb.
(v) Equus: Pliohippus gave rise to Equus or the modern horse with one toe in each foot. They have incisors for cutting grass and molars for grinding food.

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FAQs on NCERT Solutions Class 12 Biology Chapter 6 - Evolution

1. What is evolution?
Ans. Evolution is the process of change in all forms of life over generations. It refers to the gradual development of different species from common ancestors through genetic variations and natural selection.
2. How does evolution occur?
Ans. Evolution occurs through various mechanisms such as natural selection, genetic mutations, genetic drift, and gene flow. These processes lead to changes in the genetic makeup of populations over time, resulting in the emergence of new species or the extinction of existing ones.
3. What is natural selection?
Ans. Natural selection is a key mechanism of evolution proposed by Charles Darwin. It refers to the process where individuals with advantageous traits are more likely to survive and reproduce, passing on those traits to their offspring. Over time, these advantageous traits become more common in a population, leading to its adaptation to the environment.
4. How does the fossil record support the theory of evolution?
Ans. The fossil record provides evidence for evolution by showcasing the existence of extinct species and the gradual changes in organisms over time. Fossils of transitional forms, such as intermediate species between fish and amphibians, or dinosaurs and birds, demonstrate the gradual evolution of different groups of organisms.
5. Can evolution be observed in real-time?
Ans. Yes, evolution can be observed in real-time through various examples such as the development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria or the evolution of pesticide resistance in insects. These cases demonstrate how populations can adapt and evolve in response to changing environmental conditions and selective pressures.
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