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Interactive investigation: The arthropod story

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Overview:
This interactive investigation delves into the amazing world of the arthropods and examines their success and their evolutionary constraints.

Author/Source:
UC Museum of Paleontology

Grade level:
6-8

Time:
3-4 class periods

Teaching tips:
This resource includes a teacher's guide and student assessments. Animations and cartoons help maintain student interest in this investigation. Take home messages can be emphasized in classroom discussion. Older or advanced students can extend this learning experience by taking the "side trips" embedded in this investigation.

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

  • Biological evolution accounts for diversity over long periods of time.

  • Life forms of the past were in some ways very different from living forms of today, but in other ways very similar. (LS4.A)

  • Present-day life forms are descended from past life forms; all life is related. (LS4.A)

  • An organism's features reflect its evolutionary history.

  • Fossils provide evidence of past life. (LS4.A)

  • There are similarities and differences among fossils and living organisms. (LS4.A)

  • Anatomical similarities of living things reflect common ancestry. (LS4.A)

  • Traits that are advantageous often persist in a population. (LS4.B, LS4.C)

  • Scientists use anatomical features to infer the relatedness of taxa. (LS4.A)

  • Classification is based on evolutionary relationships.

  • Evolutionary relationships may be represented by branching trees (i.e. phylogenies or cladograms).

  • There is a fit between the form of a trait and its function, though not always a perfect fit.

Teacher background:

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