Understanding Evolution: your one-stop source for information on evolution
Resource library Teaching materials Evolution 101

Lesson summary for:
Evolutionary trees from the tabloids and beyond


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This article describes practical applications of phylogenetics, focusing on intriguing cases ripe for deployment in classrooms — like using phylogenetics to investigate crimes.
This article appears at SpringerLink.

Evolution: Education and Outreach

Grade level:

30 minutes

Teaching tips:
This article is written for teachers and comes with links to additional examples, supplementary information, and classroom tips. It is also available as a pdf at http://www.springerlink.com/content/n7309n36k4j60487/fulltext.pdf

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.

  • As with other scientific disciplines, evolutionary biology has applications that factor into everyday life, for example in agriculture, biodiversity and conservation biology, and medicine and health.

  • Evolutionary trees (i.e., phylogenies or cladograms) portray hypotheses about evolutionary relationships.

  • Evolutionary trees can be used to make inferences and predictions.

Teacher background:

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