Fishes

Free Response

What can be inferred about the evolution of the cranium and vertebral column from examining hagfishes and lampreys?

Hint:

Comparison of hagfishes with lampreys shows that the cranium evolved first in early vertebrates, as it is seen in hagfishes, which evolved earlier than lampreys. This was followed by evolution of the vertebral column, a primitive form of which is seen in lampreys and not in hagfishes.

Why did gnathostomes replace most agnathans?

Hint:

Evolution of the jaw and paired fins permitted gnathostomes to diversify from the sedentary suspension feeding of agnathans to a mobile predatory lifestyle. The ability of gnathostomes to utilize new nutrient sources may be one reason why the gnathostomes replaced most agnathans.