Questions & Answers

Mutation theory cannot explain
(a) Mimicry
(b) Industrial melanism
(c) Connecting link
(d) Living fossils

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Hint: Mutation could not satisfactorily explain a few concepts. One such concept is the phenomenon of the superficial resemblance of two or more organisms that are not taxonomically related. It is a feature used as an advantage to gain protection from predators.

Complete answer:
Mutation theory cannot explain the phenomenon of mimicry. In 1901, a Dutch botanist and geneticist named Hugo de Vries coined the term ‘mutation’ for some apparently new forms of evening primrose that were found in his experiments when he was working on them. This new set of development gave rise to mutation theory (Die Mutationtheorie). The idea put forward by this theory is that new species are formed from unexpected and sudden emergence of events and alterations in their defining traits. These sudden changes in their traits are referred to as ‘mutations’.
Shortcomings of mutation theory:
Though this theory is very much accepted, it fails to explain some concepts like:
-The phenomenon of mimicry was not supported in this theory.
-Using color as a means of protection known as protective coloration or ‘camouflage.’
-Relationship between the length of the proboscis of insects and the position of nectaries within the flowers they pollinate.
So, the correct answer is ‘Mimicry.’

Note: -According to the mutation theory, the concept of absence in the fossil records is not entirely true. It can rather be taken as evidence of evolution.
-Mutation theory called the absence of connecting links as no criteria against evolution.
-Industrial melanism is a concept that is also supported by the theory of natural selection by Charles Darwin.