Evolution of the Biosphere

Practice exam questions written by Timothy H. Heaton,
Professor of Earth Sciences, University of South Dakota

Click the circle by an answer with the mouse, then click on the Submit button to get a response. You will be told if your answer is correct or not and will be given some comments.

  1. Which kingdom of life was the first to appear on earth?
    Animalia (eukaryotes).
    Fungi (eukaryotes).
    Monera (prokaryotes).
    Plantae (eukaryotes).
    Protozoa (eukaryotes).

  2. What source of energy has been proposed for getting life started?
    Hydrothermal vents.
    Lightening.
    Meteorites.
    Sunlight.
    All of the above.

  3. What group of organisms do fossil stromatolite mounds represent?
    Bacteria.
    Cyanobacteria.
    Fungi.
    Plants.
    Protozoa.

  4. Which process(es) is (are) animals capable of conducting?
    Chemosynthesis.
    Fermentation.
    Photosynthesis.
    Respiration.
    All of the above.

  5. Which process(es) is (are) bacteria capable of conducting?
    Chemosynthesis.
    Fermentation.
    Photosynthesis.
    Respiration.
    All of the above.

  6. What is the most popular theory for the origin of the organelles inside eukaryotic cells?
    They formed from mineral grains.
    They formed from the cell wall.
    They formed from the cytoplasm.
    They formed from the DNA ring.
    They are incorporated bacteria.

  7. During what geologic age did eukaryotic cells first appear?
    Cambrian.
    Cenozoic.
    Mesozoic.
    Paleozoic.
    Precambrian.

  8. During what geologic age did animals suddenly diversify?
    Cambrian.
    Cenozoic.
    Mesozoic.
    Paleozoic.
    Precambrian.

  9. What was the most difficult problem facing the first land plants and animals?
    Breathing.
    Drying out.
    Finding food.
    Gravity.
    Reproduction.

  10. What modern atmospheric gas was lacking in earth's early atmosphere?
    Argon.
    Carbon dioxide.
    Nitrogen.
    Oxygen.
    Sulfur dioxide.

  11. Match each group of organisms with the fauna they belong to.
    Organisms Fauna
    Ammonoids of South Dakota.
    Bats.
    Burgess Shale organisms.
    Dinosaurs.
    First amphibians.
    First birds.
    First jawed fishes.
    First mammals.
    Marine reptiles.
    Horses.
    Pterosaurs.
    Thin flat animals with no internal complexity.
    Tiny cones, caps, and spirals.
    Trilobites.
    Whales.
    Cenozoic fauna.
    Ediacara fauna.
    Mesozoic fauna.
    Paleozoic fauna.
    Tommotian fauna.

Please report any problems or errors to Dr. Heaton.