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Evolution- help

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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Evolution- help

Postby chenglorraine » Fri Mar 17, 2006 7:32 pm

Please please help me with one of my Biology question-

Explain how we know that Hyracoterium lived 60 million years ago? (Apparently Hyracoterium was some kind of horse-liked animal which was now extinted.) I know there is some connection between the amount of carbon on the fossil but I don't know how to phrase it. Can anybody help me?
Another question is-
Explain the way in which Equus (horses) evolved. Tricky.
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Postby alextemplet » Fri Mar 17, 2006 7:35 pm

Carbon dating is only accurate within the last few thousand years. Beyond that, there are many other radioisotopes that can be used. I'm not sure exactly which ones are useful for a 60m year period but I'm sure that's where the answer to your question lies. As for the evolution of the horse, I don't know much about that. Have you tried google or wikipedia?
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Postby February Beetle » Fri Mar 17, 2006 7:53 pm

This is a little off topic but since you are asking these questions side by side I wonder if you know...
Do you know the term when two organisms evolve to look so similar and act so similar but one evolves long after the only has went extinct, so they are not closely related at all. I know it is kind of like shark vs. dolphin but I thought there was a different term for it when it has to do with extinct animals and recent animals. It has to do with certain environments will produce certain animals through evolution over and over again even if the ones before it were extinct.
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Postby mith » Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:19 pm

The way the horse evolved is tricky because there are multiple(many many) branches between the horse ancestor and the modern horse. It's not a straight line at all and I'm assuming your instructor wants to see the whole tree with extinct branches.
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Postby canalon » Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:26 pm

February Beetle wrote:This is a little off topic but since you are asking these questions side by side I wonder if you know...
Do you know the term when two organisms evolve to look so similar and act so similar but one evolves long after the only has went extinct, so they are not closely related at all. ...


I think the word you are looking for is convergence/ convergent evolution.
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Postby AstusAleator » Mon Mar 20, 2006 2:58 am

and the structures would be.. analogous? right?

synplesiamorphy?
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Re: Evolution- help

Postby Georgie » Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:32 am

chenglorraine wrote:Please please help me with one of my Biology question-

Explain how we know that Hyracoterium lived 60 million years ago? (Apparently Hyracoterium was some kind of horse-liked animal which was now extinted.) I know there is some connection between the amount of carbon on the fossil but I don't know how to phrase it. Can anybody help me?
Another question is-
Explain the way in which Equus (horses) evolved. Tricky.


Potassium-argon dating can be used for things up to 100,000,000 years ago, it is used to date volcanic material and rocks, so if they dated the rocks they found the fossil in they could determin its age. Sorry if i have got the wrong end of the stick.
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Postby mith » Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:05 pm

Other isotopes are also tested to check for correlation, there could be contamination of the samples sometimes.
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