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Evolutionary changes that persist in a more or less continuous fashion over long periods of time are known as evolutionary trends. Directional evolutionary changes increased the cranial capacity of the human lineage from the small brain of Australopithecus—human ancestors of several million years ago—which was about 400 cm3 in volume, to a brain more than three times as large in modern humans. Directional selection— particularly, long-term evolutionary trends—often does not occur in a continuous or sustained manner, but rather in spurts.

4. 13 Species and speciation Species come about as the result of gradual change prompted by natural selection. Environments differ from place to place and change in time. Natural selection favors different characteristics in different situations. The accumulation of differences between populations exposed to different environments may eventually yield different species. External similarity is the common basis for identifying individuals as being members of the same species. Nevertheless, there is more to a species than outward appearance.

2). either kind of data. The main methods currently in use are called distance, maximum parsimony, and maximum likelihood. Distance methods are used primarily with molecular data, but also with morphological information. A distance is the number of differences between two taxa. The differences are measured with respect to certain traits (such as morphological features) or to certain macromolecules (the sequence of amino acids in proteins or the sequence of nucleotides in DNA or RNA). 20 was obtained by taking into account the distance, or number of amino acid differences, between three organisms with respect to a particular protein (cytochrome c).

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