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Chimpanzee Droppings Lead Scientists to Evolutionary Discovery


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Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) is thought to be a precursor to HIV. This multi-part case study explores changes in SIV in different chimpanzee populations and how researchers use this information to test hypotheses about the origins of HIV.

Kosal, Erica F.

Grade level:

1.5 to 2 hrs.

Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.

  • Present-day species evolved from earlier species; the relatedness of organisms is the result of common ancestry.

  • Similarities among existing organisms (including morphological, developmental, and molecular similarities) reflect common ancestry and provide evidence for evolution.

  • Speciation is the splitting of one ancestral lineage into two or more descendent lineages.

  • A hallmark of science is exposing ideas to testing.

  • Classification is based on evolutionary relationships.

Teacher background:

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