We can use comparative anatomy to study evolutionary relationships among organisms. If two organisms have similar structures, it might indicate a common evolutionary origin. The more similar the structures, the closer the evolutionary relationship. Use the following link to complete the table below. Once on the site, click on Taxon to choose the different species for comparison. You select the final species to complete the comparison table.
Table 1. Comparison of an Adult Human, Chimpanzee, Orangutan, and Gorilla
|Number of rib Pairs
|Total number of Vertebrae||
|Shape and size of clavicle||
|Type of thumb||
|Approximate Ratio of arm length to body||
Procedure:Use Figure 1 to compare the amino acid sequences of a protein that is homologous for the 20 organisms shown. Theprotein, cytochromec, is an enzyme important in the breakdown of food molecules by a cell. As part of the electron transport chain, it helps release the energy in food molecules so that it can be used by the cell. Each amino acid is represented by a unique letter in the chart.
Compare the sequence of amino acids (letters) in human cytochrome c to the sequences for each of the 5 species listed below by counting the number of differences. HINT: Highlight or underline the organism being checked, then circle each amino acid which is different from the one above it in thehuman sequence (use pencil). It helps to use a ruler or other straight edge. Notice that the amino acids showing no differences in any of the organisms are printed in a different color font, so you can just ignore them when you scan the line of letters. When an organism has a “-” instead of an amino acid that means there is no amino acid there. When comparing a “-” to an organism that has an amino acid at the position, it should be considered as a difference. When both organisms have a “-” at that spot, it is not considered as a difference.
Table 1. Number of Amino Acid Differences in Cytochrome C Protein
|Human and Rhesus monkey: ____________
Human and Horse: ____________
Human and Kangaroo: ____________
Human and Chicken: ____________
Dog and Pig/Cow/Sheep: ____________
|Bullfrog and Tuna: ____________
Human and Bull frog: ____________
Rabbit and Whale: ____________
Human and Neurospora: ____________
Human and Candida: ____________
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