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In this web-based module students are introduced to cladistics, which organizes living things by common ancestry and evolutionary relationships.
UC Museum of Paleontology
Two to four class periods.
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. (LS4.A, LS4.D)
- An organism's features reflect its evolutionary history.
- Similarities among existing organisms provide evidence for evolution. (LS4.A)
- Anatomical similarities of living things reflect common ancestry. (LS4.A)
- A hallmark of science is exposing ideas to testing. (P3, P4, P6, P7)
- Scientists test their ideas using multiple lines of evidence. (P6, NOS2)
- Scientists use anatomical evidence to infer the relatedness of taxa. (LS4.A)
- Scientists use fossils (including sequences of fossils showing gradual change over time) to learn about past life.
- Classification is based on evolutionary relationships.
- Evolutionary trees (i.e., phylogenies or cladograms) are built from multiple lines of evidence.