Australopithecus afarensis: How bipedalism led to the evolution of Hom

Format: APA format (see Purdue OWL website for proper formatting of cover page, section headings, and citations), double spaced, 12 pt. font, 1” margins, Times New Roman, no direct quotations (practice paraphrasing). No set page length – as long as it takes to cover all details for each paper section. At least 5 scholarly citations.


Evolution leaves many observable signs in all organisms. We will be examining natural selection and five of the many lines of evidence in support of evolution:

-The fossil record
-Comparative anatomy
-Comparative embryology
-Molecular biology
Paper Sections (each section – except cover page – should be at least 1 well-formed paragraph and should have a section heading):

Cover Page – APA format. Be sure to include a running head, an informative title, author’s name, campus location, date, instructor name, and class section and period.
Introduction – Introduce the species you are reporting on. What is it? Explain the entire classification of the organism beginning with domain and ending with species. Where can this species be found? How is the species used by humans (i.e. – pets, food, logging industry, not used, etc.)? End with a thesis statement building up to the following sections on your evidence of evolution found within this species. This thesis statement should be something that you can argue/support with the body of the paper. Usually this involves choosing a specific adaptation and following it through the series of evolutionary evidence. Include citations.

Fossil Record – What did the fossil record tell us in terms of ancestry? What did your species descend from? What structures/characteristics are found in the fossil record that are still seen (or maybe not seen) today? Be sure to include dates and fossil age comparisons. Be specific. Include citations.

Biogeography – Where was your species or species’ ancestors originally found? Where can your species be found now and why? Include citations.
Comparative Anatomy – What other species share(s) similar structure(s) as your species? Remember to use homologous structures, not analogous structures. Does your species have any vestigial structures? Include citations.

Comparative Embryology – How is your species similar to other species while as an embryo? Embryonic development NOT how the organism reproduces – it is not the same thing. Include citations.

Molecular Biology – How does your species compare to other similar species at the genetic level? Which species is it more similar/less similar to, genetically speaking? Include citations.

Natural Selection – Does your species overproduce offspring? Is there a different reproductive strategy used by the species that makes them successful? How do individuals from your species compete amongst themselves for resources (food, shelter, mates, etc.)? What kinds of individual variations occur? Include citations.

Conclusion – Treat this as a “back of the book cover” summary of your research paper. Challenge yourself to summarize the most important evidence of evolution in about 250 words.

Literature Cited – Sources should always be listed alphabetically by author’s last name. Acceptable scholarly sources include: hardcopy books, eBooks (including your eText), scientific articles, scientific magazines (National Geographic, Scientific American, Popular Science, Discover Magazine, etc.).
Use the library’s online database to help you search for proper material. The Academic Search Premier is a large database full of research articles. There is also an eBook database for electronic textbooks

Unacceptable sources – Wikipedia,, other non-science websites, really websites in general. I will deduct points for not using proper sources.

You must use in-text citations. It is not enough to list your literature cited at the end of the paper, you must also make notations in the body of your paper to show where each of your facts came from. Failure to properly cite within the body is a form of plagiarism.

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