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Species study experiment

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You are conducting fieldwork at your Week 5 topic site and discover two groups of organisms (i.e. fish, tree, mammals, etc. - pick a specific organism to examine) living on opposite sides of a natural divider in your week 5 topic site (mountain/lake/etc. - pick a natural divider). How would you design a study/experiment to determine whether these two groups belong to the same species without disturbing the organisms? Explain.

Helpful thoughts: What is the definition of a species? How does this help you to know what to look for? What are some things that indicate that organisms belong to different species? How might natural selection led to changes in the organisms? What makes a good experiment?

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Solution Summary

This solution briefly discusses how to design an experiment to determine whether or not 2 groups of organisms are the same species. It includes a brief discussion of a sample hypothetical experiment one could conduct given the parameters listed below in the question.

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Before I help you design an experiment, I have to define speciation. There are many definitions of speciation. Some scientists define species by morphology( structural features), some define species in terms of an organism's role or niche in the environment, some define a species based on the fossil record of an organism. All these definitions have advantages and disadvantages. However, in this answer I will use the biological definition of a species. It is as follows: a group of populations in which the organisms have the potential to successfully ...

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