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The Evolution of Flight in Birds


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This interactive module examines evidence from the fossil record, behavior, biomechanics and cladistic analysis to interpret the sequence of events that led to flight in the dinosaur lineage. ..

UC Museum of Paleontology

Grade level:

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.

  • Present-day species evolved from earlier species; the relatedness of organisms is the result of common ancestry. (LS4.A)

  • Features sometimes acquire new functions through natural selection.

  • Similarities among existing organisms provide evidence for evolution. (LS4.A)

  • Scientists can test ideas about events and processes long past, very distant, and not directly observable.

  • Science is a human endeavor. (NOS7)

  • Our knowledge of the evolution of living things is always being refined as we gather more evidence.

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

  • Classification is based on evolutionary relationships.

  • Evolutionary trees (i.e., phylogenies or cladograms) are built from multiple lines of evidence.

Teacher background:

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