evidence from Living types


Is this evidence of evolution?

Take a near look in ~ this gorilla hand. The similarities to a human hand are remarkable. Compare anatomy, and also characterizing the similarities and also differences, provides proof of evolution.

You are watching: What is the difference between homologous structures and vestigial structures

Comparative Anatomy

Comparative anatomy is the study of the similarities and differences in the structures of different species. Similar body parts might be homologies or analogies. Both provide evidence because that evolution.

Homologous structures space structures that are similar in related organisms since they to be inherited from a common ancestor. These structures might or may not have actually the same role in the descendants. Figure listed below shows the hand of several various mammals. Castle all have actually the same an easy pattern the bones. Lock inherited this pattern from a usual ancestor. However, their forelimbs now have various functions.


The forelimbs of every mammals have actually the same straightforward bone structure.

Analogous structures space structures the are comparable in unrelated organisms. The structures are comparable because they evolved to carry out the same job, not due to the fact that they to be inherited native a usual ancestor. Because that example, the wing of bats and birds, shown in Figure below, look similar on the outside. They also have the very same function. However, wings evolved independently in the two teams of animals. This is noticeable when you compare the sample of bones inside the wings.


Wings the bats and also birds offer the exact same function. Look carefully at the bones inside the wings. The differences show they emerged from different ancestors.

Comparative Embryology

Comparative embryology is the examine of the similarities and differences in the embryos of different species. Similarity in embryos are evidence of common ancestry. All vertebrate embryos, because that example, have actually gill slits and tails. Many vertebrates, other than for fish, shed their gill slits by adulthood. Several of them likewise lose their tail. In humans, the tail is lessened to the tail bone. Thus, similarities organisms share as embryos might be gone by adulthood. This is why that is an useful to compare organisms in the embryonic stage. Seehttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/04/2/pdf/l_042_03.pdf for added information and a comparative diagram of human, monkey, pig, chicken and salamander embryos.

Vestigial Structures

Structures favor the human tail bone and whale pelvis are dubbed vestigial structures. Development has decreased their size since the structures space no much longer used. The person appendix is one more example the a vestigial structure. That is a tiny remnant the a once-larger organ. In a remote ancestor, the was needed to digest food. It offer no objective in human beings today. Why carry out you think structures that room no much longer used shrink in size? Why can a full-sized, unused structure alleviate an organism’s fitness?

Comparing DNA

Darwin could compare only the anatomy and also embryos of life things. Today, scientists deserve to compare your DNA. Comparable DNA sequences room the strongest proof for advancement from a common ancestor. Much more similarities in the DNA sequence is proof for a closer evolutionary relationship. Look in ~ the cladogram in the Figure below. It shows how humans and apes room related based on their DNA sequences.

Evolution and molecules are questioned at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvJFI3ChOUU(3:52).


Cladogram of Humans and also Apes. This cladogram is based on DNA comparisons. That shows exactly how humans are related to apes by lower from typical ancestors.

Using various types of information to understand evolutionary relationship is discussed in the following videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZc1t2Os6UU (3:38),http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IRz85QNjz0 (6:45), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgyTVT3dqGY (10:51).

KQED: The Reverse advancement Machine

In find of the usual ancestor of all mammals, college of California Santa Cruz scientist David Haussler is pulling a complete reversal. Instead of researching fossils, he"s comparing the genomes of life mammals to construct a map of our typical ancestors" DNA. He likewise specializes in studying the DNA of extinct animals, asking how the DNA has changed over numerous years to produce today"s species. His technique, described as computational genomics, hold promise for giving a far better picture of how life evolved. Seehttp://www.kqed.org/quest/televis...lution-machine for much more information.

See more: What Does Rtv Stand For Kubota Rtv? How About A Rtv

Explore More

Use this resource to answer the inquiries that follow.

Distinguish between homology and also analogy. Exactly how are tetrapod limbs comparable to every other? offer four examples of homologous tetrapod limbs. Give an example of a homologous structure in insects. What can occur to homologous structures of different varieties over time? Why space tetrapod and octopus limbs no homologous?
tags This page has no tags.