Biology: A Guide to the Natural World

Chapter 19: A Slow Unfolding: The History of Life on Earth

Chapter Review Quiz

Each question in this quiz has been categorized to help you determine the challenge level. A level 1 question typically helps you review memory recall ideas or factual content. A level 2 question typically requires integration of many ideas and a higher level thought process. You should attempt all the questions as your instructor may require both levels of performance on your exam.

1. Which of the following was responsible for the initial accumulation of molecular oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere about 2 billion years ago? (level 1). [Hint]

2. Which of the following represents the correct chronology of the evolution of the following forms of metabolism?

  1. glycolysis
  2. photosynthesis
  3. aerobic cellular respiration
(level 1). [Hint]

3. Approximately how old are the oldest known fossils of living organisms? (level 1). [Hint]

4. Refer to the following events that have occurred during the Precambrian era.

  1. prebiotic (before life) formation of organic monomers
  2. first accumulation of oxygen in the atmosphere as a result of the activity of cyanobacteria
  3. first prokaryotic cells appeared on the Earth
  4. origin of organic polymers
  5. origin of eukaryotes

Which of the following indicates the most likely chronological order of events indicated above? (level 2). [Hint]

5. Why do many scientists believe that the first living organisms arose deep in the ocean near hydrothermal vents or hot springs? (level 1). [Hint]

6. Which of the following contradicts the notion that enzymes are always proteins? (level 1). [Hint]

7. What happened to many species of organisms 2.5 billion years ago when oxygen began to accumulate in the atmosphere? (level 1). [Hint]

8. Which of the following is true of animals? (level 1). [Hint]

9. What was the Cambrian Explosion? (level 1). [Hint]

10. Before radiometric dating, how did scientists assign the age of the rock layers that are found in the Earth's crust? (level 1). [Hint]

11. The geologic timescale is divided into several different eras or epochs of time. What are the major events that separate these eras? (level 1). [Hint]

12. Fossil evidence indicates that during the Cambrian explosion many animal phyla appear quite suddenly. Which of these phyla is NOT seen in the Cambrian explosion? (level 1). [Hint]

13. Which of these domains would include microscopic protists such as an amoeba, a paramecium, or a euglena? (level 1). [Hint]

14. Origin of life researchers have hypothesized that one particular kind of organic molecule may have been the first precursor to a true living system. In this hypothesis, this molecule could serve as both a template for replication and as an enzyme to facilitate the replication process. What kind of organic molecule was this? (level 2). [Hint]

15. Which of these important cellular processes was NOT initiated during the Precambrian era? (level 1). [Hint]

16. Early cyanobacteria are thought to be responsible for the liberation of molecular oxygen into the Earth's primitive atmosphere. Which of these effects was achieved through the liberation of oxygen from cyanobacteria? (level 2). [Hint]

17. Although plants are believed to have occupied the land much, much earlier than animals, both types of organisms had many of the same obstacles to overcome in order to exist on land. Which of the following was NOT one of the obstacles that had to be overcome by either plants or animals as they moved onto the land? (level 2). [Hint]

18. In the evolution of land-dwelling plants, which of these adaptations is thought to have developed last? (level 1). [Hint]

19. In the evolution of land-dwelling animals, several different phyla have made the transition from a strictly aquatic to a terrestrial (land-based) existence. Which of these phyla has remained exclusively an aquatic phylum? (level 2). [Hint]

20. Which of the following is NOT true concerning the history of the evolution of life? (level 2) [Hint]

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