Dr. Stuart S. Sumida

California State University San Bernardino; Department of Biology

Exam Study Guides

First Midterm

Examples of Major Concepts for Study 

  • Age of the earth
  • Evolution and its mechanisms
  • Food acquisition strategies
  • Culture of the Enlightenment and how it contributed to scientific understanding
  • Special adaptations of plants
  • What is a synapomorphy?  How do we define (versus describe) groups?
  • Comparison of plants versus fungi versus animals
  • Scientific method
  • What is science versus what is not.
  • Continental drift
  • Major plant groups and their ages
  • Major fungal groups and their ages
  • Oldest multicellular organisms

Possible “Essay” Question Topics: 

·         Explain and define the different types of food acquisition strategies described in class, and give an example of each.

·         Explain, either as a list of components or with text/prose, the process of Natural Selection as described by Charles Darwin.

·         What is convergent evolution?  Give at least two examples.

·         The earth it now acknowledged to be extremely old. Describe how it came to be understood that the earth was extremely old during the Age of the Enlightenment.  

·         What is Symbiosis?  Describe at least one example.


Second Midterm

Examples of Major Concepts for Study

·         Water to Land Transition:  Examples of problems associated with it and solutions in different groups. 

·         Chordate Synapomorphies!!!

·         Defining feature of vertebrates!!!

·         Caenogenesis

·         Importance of Segmentation

·         Protostome/Deuterostome differences

·         Insect stuff:  original function of wings; origin of insects; most primitive are wingless

·         Endoskeleton versus Exoskeleton 

Possible “Essay” Question Topics:

  • Be able to draw a basic cross-section of a vertebrate.
  • Explain NEOTONY and give examples.
  • Defining Features for: Deuterostomia, Chordata, Vertebrata, Tetrapoda


Important Topics for the Final

Examples of Major Concepts for Study

  • Defining Features for: Lissamphibia, Amniota, Dinosauria, Aves (Birds), Mammalia, Primates, Homo sapiens (today)
  • Closest extinct relatives of each of the above.
  • Examples of Convergent Evolution
  • Examples of Neotony
  • Posture vs. number of feet on ground
  • Components of human locomotion (today)
  • Extinct vs. living relatives of groups.
  • Functions of feathers
  • Build your trees!
  • Position of Synapsida in Vertebrate evolutionary tree.
  • Food acquisition strategy (you are what you eat – herbivore vs. Carnivore features)


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