Describe the difference between plesiomorphies and synapomorphies.

Posted: July 12th, 2022

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Answer each of the 4 essay questions with complete and edited sentences (25 points each).
 Compose original answers in your own words. Group work is not allowed.
 Do NOT quote sources, do NOT paraphrase the textbook or any other source. This is an
examination of your dinosaur knowledge gained from the course content. Almost
everything on the internet about dinosaurs is wrong (it’s oversimplified for little kids), so
use course content to look up the information needed to construct your original answers.
 Each answer should be less than 250 words. Your responses will be graded 50% for
scientific accuracy and completeness, and 50% for effective communication of your
answer (1 point deduction for each different type of writing error such as spelling,
capitalization, punctuation, etc.).
 Providing or receiving aid is cheating. If 2 exams have identical answers, both will be
written up for cheating. The University requires you to report other students for cheating.
 If you use an answer from an old exam you will be written up for cheating.
 You may ask for clarification on a question, but I will not provide feedback on your
answers that would give you an unfair advantage over other students.
1) Based on what you learned from the Dinosaur Wars documentary, do you think the Cope and
Marsh helped or hurt the field of paleontology overall? Support your opinion with examples
from the movie (you will not be graded on your opinion, only your support and your writing).
2) Provide a technical, scientific definition of a dinosaur. How does this differ from the way the
term “dinosaur” is used informally? Describe the difference between plesiomorphies and
synapomorphies. Give 3 examples of each for dinosaurs as a clade.
3) How could the evolutionary process produce a greater number of dinosaur species as a result
of the break-up of Pangea?
4) List the 4 anatomical characteristics that supported vertical limb posture in the hindlimbs of
dinosaurs. Describe how each of these characteristics contributed to the vertical limb posture of

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