Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection Trivia Questions and Answers

What was the name of the region where Alfred Russel Wallace conducted extensive research and observed incredible biodiversity?

  • The Amazon Rainforest
  • The Malay Archipelago
  • The Galapagos Islands
  • The African Savannah

Correct Answer: The Malay Archipelago

Correct Answer Explanation: The Malay Archipelago, which includes islands like Indonesia and Malaysia, was the location of Wallace’s most famous explorations and where he developed many of his theories on natural selection and mimicry.

According to Wallace, what is the primary driving force behind the diversification of species?

  • Geographic isolation
  • Genetic mutation
  • Natural selection
  • Random chance

Correct Answer: Natural selection

Correct Answer Explanation: Wallace, alongside Darwin, proposed that natural selection, the process where individuals with advantageous traits are more likely to survive and reproduce, is the main force behind evolution.

What phenomenon did Wallace extensively study, where one species evolves to resemble another species for protection?

  • Adaptation
  • Camouflage
  • Mimicry
  • Convergent evolution

Correct Answer: Mimicry

Correct Answer Explanation: Wallace was a pioneer in studying mimicry, often observing insects like butterflies that mimicked other insects or even animals like wasps or snakes for protection.

How did Wallace explain the existence of multiple distinct forms within a single species?

  • Polymorphism
  • Dimorphism
  • Local form
  • Race

Correct Answer: Polymorphism

Correct Answer Explanation: Polymorphism refers to the existence of multiple distinct forms within a single species, often related to variations in color, pattern, or other characteristics.

What did Wallace argue about the concept of instinct, challenging the traditional idea of innate behaviors?

  • Instinct is an essential component of animal behavior
  • Instinct is a complex combination of learned and innate behaviors
  • Instinct is a myth, and all animal behaviors are learned
  • Instinct is a product of natural selection

Correct Answer: Instinct is a complex combination of learned and innate behaviors

Correct Answer Explanation: Wallace suggested that many behaviors attributed to instinct can be explained by other cognitive processes such as observation, learning, and memory, challenging the notion of purely innate behaviors.

According to Wallace, how does the color of desert animals, like lions and antelopes, help them survive?

  • It attracts mates
  • It helps them blend into their surroundings
  • It provides camouflage from prey
  • It helps them regulate body temperature

Correct Answer: It helps them blend into their surroundings

Correct Answer Explanation: Desert animals’ coloration often matches their environment, providing camouflage from predators and helping them hunt prey more effectively.

What is the primary function of the “osmeterium,” a unique Y-shaped tentacle on the neck of some Papilionidae butterflies?

  • It attracts mates
  • It helps the butterfly smell flowers
  • It emits a strong odor to deter predators
  • It helps the butterfly navigate

Correct Answer: It emits a strong odor to deter predators

Correct Answer Explanation: The osmeterium is a defense mechanism used by some Papilionidae butterflies to deter predators by emitting a strong odor.

Why did Wallace study the Papilionidae butterflies in Celebes, an island in the Malay Archipelago, in detail?

  • To understand the evolution of wing patterns
  • To understand the relationship between butterflies and plants
  • To understand the role of mimicry in butterfly populations
  • To study the unique biodiversity of Celebes

Correct Answer: To study the unique biodiversity of Celebes

Correct Answer Explanation: Celebes has a very distinct fauna compared to other islands, making it a fascinating case study for understanding the effects of isolation and natural selection on species diversity.

Which of these is NOT a concept or observation that Wallace contributed to the understanding of natural selection?

  • The struggle for existence
  • Variations in species affect survival
  • All individuals in a species are exactly the same
  • The importance of adaptation to environmental conditions

Correct Answer: All individuals in a species are exactly the same

Correct Answer Explanation: Wallace recognized that natural selection works on variations within a species, as individuals with different traits have varying degrees of success in surviving and reproducing.

What is the approximate number of species of Papilionidae butterflies found in the Malay archipelago?

  • 50
  • 130
  • 200
  • 300

Correct Answer: 130

Correct Answer Explanation: The Malay archipelago is home to a diverse butterfly fauna, including approximately 130 species of Papilionidae butterflies, showcasing the rich biodiversity of the region.

How do the wings of butterflies serve as a “tablet” for the story of species modifications, according to Wallace?

  • They show changes in flight patterns
  • They reflect the history of evolutionary changes
  • They show the influence of different food sources
  • They reflect the influence of climate change

Correct Answer: They reflect the history of evolutionary changes

Correct Answer Explanation: The variations in the wings of butterflies, such as color patterns and shapes, can provide insights into the evolutionary changes that have occurred over time in response to environmental pressures and adaptation.

What is a major characteristic of the Madagascar hissing cockroach that helps it survive?

  • Its ability to mimic other insects
  • Its ability to camouflage itself
  • Its ability to emit an unpleasant odor
  • Its ability to fly quickly

Correct Answer: Its ability to emit an unpleasant odor

Correct Answer Explanation: The Madagascar hissing cockroach uses its strong odor as a defense mechanism to deter predators.

According to Wallace, which of these factors is NOT likely to influence the survival and reproduction of a species?

  • Its ability to camouflage
  • Its ability to find food
  • Its ability to attract mates
  • Its ability to learn new behaviors

Correct Answer: Its ability to learn new behaviors

Correct Answer Explanation: While learning can be advantageous for survival, it is not a primary driver of the survival and reproduction of a species in the way that camouflage, food finding, and attracting mates are.

What does Wallace argue about the Heliconidae butterflies, which have a strong pungent odor?

  • They are the most common type of butterfly in the Amazon rainforest
  • They are particularly vulnerable to predation
  • They are protected from predation by their unpleasant taste and odor
  • They are highly aggressive toward other butterflies

Correct Answer: They are protected from predation by their unpleasant taste and odor

Correct Answer Explanation: The Heliconidae butterflies have evolved to be unpalatable to predators due to their strong odor and taste, providing them with a significant survival advantage.

What is the term for a variation within a species that is specific to a particular location?

  • Polymorphism
  • Dimorphism
  • Local form
  • Race

Correct Answer: Local form

Correct Answer Explanation: Local forms are variations within a species that are specific to a particular location, often due to adaptation to unique environmental conditions.

According to Wallace, what is the primary reason why many birds have developed methods to protect their eggs and young from predators?

  • To avoid attracting mates
  • To compete for resources
  • To reduce the amount of time they spend on nests
  • To increase their chances of survival

Correct Answer: To increase their chances of survival

Correct Answer Explanation: Birds have evolved a variety of strategies to protect their eggs and young, such as building concealed nests or using specific materials for nest construction, to increase the chances of their offspring surviving to reproduce.

Which of these is NOT an example of a protective resemblance, according to Wallace?

  • The lion’s sandy color in the desert
  • The arctic fox’s white fur in winter
  • The walking leaf insect resembling a leaf
  • The Viceroy butterfly mimicking the Monarch butterfly

Correct Answer: The Viceroy butterfly mimicking the Monarch butterfly

Correct Answer Explanation: The Viceroy butterfly mimicking the Monarch butterfly is an example of mimicry, where one species evolves to resemble another for protection, not a protective resemblance, which involves blending into the surroundings for concealment.

What is the name of the island in the Malay archipelago known for its unique and highly diverse fauna, according to Wallace?

  • Java
  • Borneo
  • Sumatra
  • Celebes

Correct Answer: Celebes

Correct Answer Explanation: Celebes, now known as Sulawesi, has a unique and distinctive fauna compared to other islands in the region, due to its isolation and the influence of natural selection.

What is the term for the existence of two distinct forms within a single species, often referring to sexual differences?

  • Polymorphism
  • Dimorphism
  • Local form
  • Race

Correct Answer: Dimorphism

Correct Answer Explanation: Dimorphism refers to the existence of two distinct forms within a single species, often related to sexual differences, such as the size or coloration of males and females.

Why did Wallace believe that the passenger pigeon of the United States was once incredibly abundant despite laying only one or two eggs?

  • They had a high survival rate
  • They were able to find abundant food and fly rapidly
  • They were able to mimic other birds
  • They had a strong protective resemblance

Correct Answer: They were able to find abundant food and fly rapidly

Correct Answer Explanation: Despite their low fecundity, the passenger pigeons were able to thrive due to their ability to find abundant food and their rapid flight capabilities.

What is the primary reason why many insects have protective coloration that helps them blend in with their surroundings?

  • To attract mates
  • To avoid predators
  • To compete for resources
  • To regulate body temperature

Correct Answer: To avoid predators

Correct Answer Explanation: Insects have evolved protective coloration to help them blend in with their surroundings, making them less visible to predators and increasing their chances of survival.

What did Wallace observe about the relationship between Leptalis butterflies and Heliconidae butterflies in South America?

  • They were both highly aggressive species
  • They were both vulnerable to predation
  • They were both incredibly rare
  • They were often found in the same habitats

Correct Answer: They were often found in the same habitats

Correct Answer Explanation: Wallace observed that many species or varieties of Leptalis butterflies mimicked the Heliconidae butterflies, suggesting that these two groups often shared similar habitats in South America.

What is the term for the process by which organisms with traits better suited to their environment are more likely to survive and reproduce?

  • Adaptation
  • Mimicry
  • Natural selection
  • Protective resemblance

Correct Answer: Natural selection

Correct Answer Explanation: Natural selection is the process by which organisms with traits better suited to their environment are more likely to survive and reproduce, passing on those traits to their offspring.

What did Wallace discover about the Diadema and Papilio butterflies in tropical Africa, highlighting the prevalence of mimicry?

  • They were both highly poisonous species
  • They were often found in the same habitats
  • They were often found mimicking each other
  • They were particularly vulnerable to predation

Correct Answer: They were often found mimicking each other

Correct Answer Explanation: Wallace observed that many species of Diadema and Papilio butterflies mimicked other species, such as Danais or Acraea, which have protective coloration or odor, demonstrating the prevalence of mimicry in these groups.

How did Wallace explain the existence of geographically distinct populations within a species?

  • Polymorphism
  • Dimorphism
  • Local form
  • Race

Correct Answer: Race

Correct Answer Explanation: Wallace recognized the existence of geographically distinct populations within a species, called races, which have unique characteristics often due to adaptation to different environmental conditions.

According to Wallace, what is the relationship between the population of a species and its adaptation to its environment?

  • The population is independent of adaptation
  • The population is limited by adaptation
  • The population is determined by adaptation
  • The population is inversely proportional to adaptation

Correct Answer: The population is determined by adaptation

Correct Answer Explanation: Wallace argued that the population of a species is determined by its adaptation to the conditions of existence, as those better adapted are more likely to survive and reproduce.

What is the term for the coloration or form of an animal that helps it blend in with its surroundings for concealment from predators?

  • Adaptation
  • Mimicry
  • Natural selection
  • Protective resemblance

Correct Answer: Protective resemblance

Correct Answer Explanation: Protective resemblance refers to the coloration or form of an animal that helps it blend in with its surroundings, providing camouflage and concealment from predators.

According to Wallace, what is the primary purpose of the strong odor emitted by the bombardier beetle?

  • To attract mates
  • To ward off predators
  • To mark territory
  • To communicate with other beetles

Correct Answer: To ward off predators

Correct Answer Explanation: The bombardier beetle’s unique defense mechanism, which involves emitting a jet of volatile liquid, serves to ward off predators by creating a smoke-like puff and a distinct explosion.

Which of these is NOT an example of a behavior that Wallace attributed to the combined actions of observation, memory, and imitation, rather than instinct?

  • The cuckoo bee mimicking wasps
  • The magpie moth caterpillar’s conspicuous coloration
  • The orchard oriole building a deeper nest
  • The Madagascar hissing cockroach emitting a strong odor

Correct Answer: The Madagascar hissing cockroach emitting a strong odor

Correct Answer Explanation: Wallace considered the strong odor emitted by the Madagascar hissing cockroach to be a primarily instinctual behavior, not one learned through observation, memory, and imitation.

According to Wallace, what is the primary reason why the sexes of insects often differ in their coloration and patterns?

  • Sexual selection
  • Mimicry
  • Protective resemblance
  • Adaptation to different food sources

Correct Answer: Sexual selection

Correct Answer Explanation: The sexual differences in coloration and markings of insects can be influenced by sexual selection, where individuals with certain traits are more attractive to potential mates.

What is the term for the performance of complex acts by an animal without any instruction or previous experience?

  • Adaptation
  • Mimicry
  • Instinct
  • Protective resemblance

Correct Answer: Instinct

Correct Answer Explanation: Instinct refers to the performance of complex acts by an animal without any instruction or previous experience, often attributed to innate behaviors.

How did Wallace explain the unique form of the wing with a curved costa exhibited by some Papilionidae butterflies in Celebes?

  • It was a random mutation
  • It was a result of climate change
  • It was an adaptation for better flight and maneuverability
  • It was a consequence of food availability

Correct Answer: It was an adaptation for better flight and maneuverability

Correct Answer Explanation: Wallace observed that the unique wing shape of these butterflies in Celebes may be an adaptation for better flight and maneuverability, potentially to avoid predators.

According to Wallace, what is the primary reason why birds build concealed nests and exhibit protective coloration?

  • To avoid attracting predators
  • To compete for resources
  • To reduce the amount of time they spend on nests
  • To attract mates

Correct Answer: To avoid attracting predators

Correct Answer Explanation: Birds have evolved a variety of strategies, such as building concealed nests and using specific materials for nest construction, to avoid attracting predators and increase their chances of survival.

What is the term for a behavior pattern that is passed down from generation to generation?

  • Adaptation
  • Mimicry
  • Instinct
  • Hereditary habit

Correct Answer: Hereditary habit

Correct Answer Explanation: Hereditary habit refers to a behavior pattern that is passed down from generation to generation, often considered a form of innate behavior.

What is the primary reason why the female Diadema misippus butterfly mimics the Danais chrysippus butterfly?

  • To attract mates
  • To confuse predators
  • To find food
  • To compete with other butterflies

Correct Answer: To confuse predators

Correct Answer Explanation: The female Diadema misippus butterfly has evolved to resemble the Danais chrysippus, which has a protective odor, gaining an advantage in avoiding predators by mimicking its appearance.

What is the approximate number of species of Hymenoptera collected in Celebes that were found to be restricted to that island?

  • 50
  • 100
  • 200
  • 300

Correct Answer: 200

Correct Answer Explanation: Out of 301 species of Hymenoptera collected in Celebes, nearly two-thirds, or approximately 200 species, were found to be absolutely restricted to that island, highlighting the high degree of endemism among the insect fauna of Celebes.

According to Wallace, how does the life of wild animals demonstrate the struggle for existence?

  • They must constantly exert their faculties and energies to survive
  • They must constantly compete with each other
  • They must constantly adapt to their environment
  • They must constantly find new food sources

Correct Answer: They must constantly exert their faculties and energies to survive

Correct Answer Explanation: Wallace emphasized that the life of wild animals is a struggle for existence, as they must constantly exert their faculties and energies to survive and reproduce.

What is the term for a group of organisms that can interbreed and produce fertile offspring?

  • Adaptation
  • Mimicry
  • Species
  • Protective resemblance

Correct Answer: Species

Correct Answer Explanation: A species is defined as a group of organisms that can interbreed and produce fertile offspring, sharing a common gene pool.

What is the primary purpose of the wings of butterflies, according to Wallace?

  • To attract mates
  • To help them fly
  • To protect them from predators
  • To communicate with other butterflies

Correct Answer: To help them fly

Correct Answer Explanation: While butterfly wings serve other purposes, such as attracting mates and providing camouflage, their primary function is to help them fly, enabling them to navigate, find food, and escape predators.

Which of these is NOT an example of a protective resemblance, according to Wallace?

  • The lion’s sandy color in the desert
  • The arctic fox’s white fur in winter
  • The walking leaf insect resembling a leaf
  • The Kallima inachis butterfly imitating a dead leaf

Correct Answer: The Kallima inachis butterfly imitating a dead leaf

Correct Answer Explanation: The Kallima inachis butterfly imitating a dead leaf is an example of mimicry, where one species evolves to resemble another for protection, not a protective resemblance, which involves blending into the surroundings for concealment.

What is the name of the genus of insectivorous mammals in the Malay countries that mimics squirrels, according to Wallace?

  • Cladobates
  • Mimosa
  • Soricomorpha
  • Squirrel

Correct Answer: Cladobates

Correct Answer Explanation: The Cladobates genus of insectivorous mammals in the Malay countries mimics squirrels, allowing them to approach their prey undetected.

According to Wallace, what is the relationship between the number of birds born each year and the number that perish?

  • More birds perish than are born
  • The number of birds born is equal to the number that perish
  • Fewer birds perish than are born
  • The number of birds born is independent of the number that perish

Correct Answer: More birds perish than are born

Correct Answer Explanation: Wallace observed that about twice the number of birds born each year perish, highlighting the significant mortality rates that occur in wild populations.

What is the name of the genus of orioles in Australia that mimics the Tropidorhynchus genus of honeysuckers, which are aggressive and strong birds?

  • Mimeta
  • Oriolus
  • Tropidorhynchus
  • Honeybird

Correct Answer: Mimeta

Correct Answer Explanation: The Mimeta genus of orioles in Australia mimics the Tropidorhynchus genus of honeysuckers, which are aggressive and strong birds, gaining a protective advantage by resembling them.

What did Wallace argue about the ability of species to depart indefinitely from their original type?

  • It is a natural process driven by natural selection
  • It is a consequence of environmental changes
  • It is a result of genetic mutations
  • It is a random occurrence

Correct Answer: It is a natural process driven by natural selection

Correct Answer Explanation: Wallace proposed that the tendency of varieties to depart indefinitely from the original type is a natural process driven by natural selection, as advantageous variations accumulate over time, leading to the emergence of new species.

According to Wallace, how does the Magpie moth caterpillar’s conspicuous coloration help it survive?

  • It helps it attract mates
  • It helps it blend into its surroundings
  • It signals its distastefulness to predators
  • It helps it find food

Correct Answer: It signals its distastefulness to predators

Correct Answer Explanation: The Magpie moth caterpillar’s conspicuous coloration is thought to signal its distastefulness to predators, acting as a warning to avoid eating it.

What is the primary reason why the orchard oriole builds a deeper nest when it is suspended from slender willow branches?

  • To attract mates
  • To avoid predators
  • To reduce the amount of time they spend on nests
  • To compete for resources

Correct Answer: To avoid predators

Correct Answer Explanation: The orchard oriole builds a deeper nest when it is suspended from slender willow branches to ensure the safety of its young during strong winds, providing protection from predators and elements.

According to Wallace, what is the primary reason why natural selection favors individuals with advantageous traits?

  • To reduce competition for resources
  • To increase their chances of survival and reproduction
  • To attract mates
  • To adapt to environmental changes

Correct Answer: To increase their chances of survival and reproduction

Correct Answer Explanation: Natural selection favors individuals with advantageous traits because they are more likely to survive and reproduce, passing those traits on to their offspring.

According to Wallace, what is the primary purpose of the “law of natural selection”?

  • To explain the origin of species
  • To explain the diversity of life on Earth
  • To explain the adaptations of animals
  • To explain the evolution of human races

Correct Answer: To explain the origin of species

Correct Answer Explanation: The law of natural selection, as proposed by Darwin and Wallace, was intended to explain the origin of species, highlighting the process by which new species arise through gradual changes driven by natural selection.

What is the name of the harmless snake that mimics the deadly Elaps lemniscatus snake, according to Wallace?

  • Pliocerus elapoides
  • Elaps lemniscatus
  • Coluber constrictor
  • Boa constrictor

Correct Answer: Pliocerus elapoides

Correct Answer Explanation: The harmless snake Pliocerus elapoides mimics the deadly Elaps lemniscatus snake, with similar red, yellow, and black rings, gaining protection by mimicking the dangerous species.

According to Wallace, what is the primary reason why the island of Celebes has a unique and highly diverse fauna?

  • Its isolation from other landmasses
  • Its favorable climate conditions
  • Its abundant food sources
  • Its proximity to other islands

Correct Answer: Its isolation from other landmasses

Correct Answer Explanation: Celebes is an isolated island, which has led to the evolution of a unique and highly diverse fauna, as species have adapted to the specific conditions of the island, leading to a high degree of endemism.

What is the primary reason why the female of the Diadema misippus butterfly mimics the Danais chrysippus butterfly?

  • To confuse predators
  • To attract mates
  • To find food
  • To avoid competition

Correct Answer: To confuse predators

Correct Answer Explanation: The female Diadema misippus butterfly has evolved to resemble the Danais chrysippus, which has a protective odor, gaining an advantage in avoiding predators by mimicking its appearance.

What is the primary purpose of mimicry, according to Wallace?

  • To avoid predators
  • To attract mates
  • To find food
  • To compete with other species

Correct Answer: To avoid predators

Correct Answer Explanation: Mimicry is a phenomenon where one species evolves to resemble another species for protection, typically by mimicking the appearance of a dangerous or distasteful species to avoid predators.

What did Wallace observe about the Papilionidae butterflies in Celebes, highlighting the influence of natural selection?

  • They were often found mimicking other species
  • They exhibited a unique form of wing with a curved costa
  • They were particularly vulnerable to predation
  • They were highly aggressive species

Correct Answer: They exhibited a unique form of wing with a curved costa

Correct Answer Explanation: Wallace observed that the Papilionidae butterflies in Celebes often exhibit a unique form of wing with a curved costa, which may be an adaptation for better flight and maneuverability, potentially to avoid predators.

What is the primary reason why the passenger pigeon of the United States was once incredibly abundant, according to Wallace?

  • Its ability to find abundant food and fly rapidly
  • Its ability to mimic other birds
  • Its ability to camouflage itself
  • Its ability to adapt to different environments

Correct Answer: Its ability to find abundant food and fly rapidly

Correct Answer Explanation: Despite laying only one or two eggs, the passenger pigeons were able to thrive due to their ability to find abundant food and their rapid flight capabilities, enabling them to exploit resources efficiently.

According to Wallace, what is the primary reason why many insects have developed protective coloration that helps them blend in with their surroundings?

  • To attract mates
  • To avoid predators
  • To compete for resources
  • To communicate with other insects

Correct Answer: To avoid predators

Correct Answer Explanation: Insects have evolved protective coloration to help them blend in with their surroundings, making them less visible to predators and increasing their chances of survival.

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