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Lesson summary for:
Mantis shrimp shoulder their evolutionary baggage and bluff

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Overview:
Like all organisms, mantis shrimp carry baggage from their evolutionary history. Find out how this baggage has coaxed them into a deadly bluffing game.

Author/Source:
UC Museum of Paleontology

Grade level:
9-12

Time:
30 minutes

Teaching tips:
This article helps dispel the misconception that natural selection is all-powerful and produces perfectly adapted organisms. More advanced students may wish to follow the side trips for more information. Classroom discussion (especially regarding the key questions at the beginning of the article) would enhance student learning on these topics.

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

  • An organism's features reflect its evolutionary history.

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

  • Traits that confer an advantage may persist in the population and are called adaptations. (LS4.B, LS4.C)

  • Natural selection acts on the variation that exists in a population. (LS4.B, LS4.C)

  • 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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