Campbell Biology (10th Edition)

Published by Pearson
ISBN 10: 0321775651
ISBN 13: 978-0-32177-565-8

Chapter 26 - 26.5 - Concept Check: 3

Answer

Since the divergence, from the fossil record, is older than the molecular data indicate, the discrepancy is probably due to problems with the calibration of the molecular clock. This could be due to a lower-than-expected mutation rate in the organism being studied or to some mutations which reversed earlier changes, camouflaging the amount of change which had occurred and, thus, the amount of time involved.

Work Step by Step

This question asks you to see that the molecular clock is not an infallible tool-- a researcher must consider things like variation in mutation rate while using it. Review Concept 26.5.
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