SAT Subject Biology Practice Question 363: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 363

13. In 1910, a small town on the East Coast of the United States relied primarily on agriculture to support its economy. In the mid-1930s, a steel mill was built, and the economy shifted from being agriculturally supported to being industrially supported. The steel mill released a lot of smog and soot into the air, which collected on the bark of trees in a wooded area near the outskirts of town. Over a period of ten years the bark gradually darkened, then maintained a constant dark color.

A variety of animals and insects lived in the wooded area. In particular, a certain species of moth served as the primary food source for a population of birds. The moths lay their eggs in the bark of the trees and, thus, must spend a fair amount of time sitting on the tree trunks. Table 1 presents data on the moth population.

Table 1

The wings of the moths and the wings of the birds are both used for fl

A. homologous structures
B. autologous structures
C. divergent structures
D. analogous structures
E. emergent structures

Correct Answer: D


D Structures with similar functions but different underlying structures are the result of vastly different organisms being placed into similar environments and having to adapt to the same stresses with different starting materials. These are termed "analogous structures" and are the result of convergent evolution.

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