The term “macroevolution” refers to a change of an evolutionary nature in a species. A species that splits into two, or a species that changes into another species over a given time are examples of macroevolution. These changes can be a result of species selection, independent evolution (also called vicariance), historical constraints or developmental constraints.

Understanding Macroevolution

The macroevolution of a species can be determined through research of the background of the species, testing the species, and observing, comparing and analyzing fossils.
Macroevolution can explain the existence of various types of plants, mammals, insects, sea creatures and other living things. It is believed to have happened in the past and is currently happening.

Examples of Macroevolution

Macroevolution changes can be seen in the following very specific examples:

  • In 1905 de Vries found that some of his evening primroses, Oenothera lamarckiana, had developed a variant number of chromosomes that was not able to be bred with the original plant. The new species was then named Oenothera gigas.
  • A sterile hybrid of the primrose species Primula verticillata and primula floribunda were crossbred. The offspring were fertile, therefore showing macroevolution, and were named Primula kewensis.
  • The tragopogon miscellus was a macroevolution of Tragopogon dubius and Tragopogon protensis.
  • The flower tragopogon mirus independently originated, indicating macroevolution of the tragopogon species.
  • Tragopogon micelius was found by Owenby in 1950 to have originated in through various hybridizations.
  • An attempt by Russian scientist Karphchenko to cross a radish with a cabbage resulted initially in the creation of hybrid plant that was sterile. However, the seeds of those plants became fertile with the parent species, creating the new plant Raphanobrassica.
  • Hemp nettle was a new species of plant created by the hybridization, in natural form, of Galeopsis pubescens and Galeopsis speciosa.

Other species that are thought to have undergone macroevolution include:

  • Grassy Tarweed (madia grcilis)
  • Brassicas
  • Maidenhair Ferns (Adiantum pedantum)
  • Woodsia Fern (Woodsia abbeae)
  • Malheur Wirelettuce (Stephanomeria malheurensis)
  • Field Corn (Ze Mays)
  • Yellow Monkey Flower (Mimulus guttatus)
  • Fruit Fly (Drosophila melanogaster)
  • Drosophila pseudoobscura
  • Drosophila willistoni
  • House fly (Musca domestica)
  • Apple Maggot Fly (Rhagoletis pomonella)
  • Gall Former Fly (Eurosta solidaginis)
  • Flour Beetle (Tribolium castaneum)
  • Polychate Worm (Nereis acuminata)
  • Chlorella
  • Cichlid fish in Lake Victoria
  • Bird to reptile macroevolutions have included:
  1. Eoraptor
  2. Herrerasuarus
  3. Compsognathus
  4. Sinosauropteryx
  5. Protarchaeopteryx
  6. Velociraptor
  7. Sinovenator
  8. Beipiaosaurus
  9. Sinornithosaurus
  10. Microraptor
  11. Caudipteryx
  12. Rhaonavis
  13. Confuciusornis
  14. Sinornis
  15. Patagopteryx
  16. Hesperornis
  17. Apsravis
  18. Ichthyornis
  19. Columba
  • Reptile to mammal macroevolutions have included:
  1. Pelycosauria
  2. Therapsida
  3. Cynodonta
  4. Primitive mammalia
  5. Morganucodon
  6. Hadrocodium wui
  7. Repenomamus
  8. Gobiconodon
  • Human to ape; examples of the fossils that support this are:
  1. Pantroglodytes
  2. Australopithecus africanus
  3. Homo Habilis
  4. Homo rudolfensis
  5. Homo erectus
  6. Homo ergaster
  7. Homo heidelbergensis
  8. Homo spiens neanderthalensis
  9. Homo sapiens sapiens, Cro-Magnon
  10. Home sapiens sapiens, modern
  11. Pezosiren portelli
  12. Italian Wall Lizard

As these different examples of macroevolution show, you can trace the fossil record to demonstrate macroevolution. Macroevolution is a very important scientific theory that explains how current plants, people and animals came to be.

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