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Lesson summary for:
Species Concepts in Birds

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Overview:
This investigation uses multimedia such as bird songs and their associated visualizations to initiate a discussion of traits that can be used to define a species and the resulting conservation implications of that definition.

Author/Source:
Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Grade level:
13-16

Time:
~ 2.5 hours

Teaching tips:
Computers with Quick Time and Flash player required. This investigation is intended for introductory courses for majors or non-majors, as well as upper-level Evolution, Ecology or Conservation courses. Students should have students having some understanding of the variety of species concepts that exist, as well as the concept of reproductive isolation.

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

  • A species is often defined as a group of individuals that actually or potentially interbreed in nature.

  • Occasionally offspring, known as hybrids, result from matings between distinct species or between distinct parental forms.

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