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Resource library Teaching materials Evolution 101

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Found 26 resources for the concept: There is a fit between organisms and their environments, though not always a perfect fit

imageBreeding Bunnies
Students simulate breeding bunnies to show the impact that genetics can have on the evolution of a population of organisms.

Audience: 13-16

Source: WGBH

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageArtificially Selecting Dogs
Students learn how artificial selection can be used to develop new dog breeds with characteristics that make the dogs capable of performing a desirable task.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Collins, Jennifer

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageEye Evolution
This worksheet guides students through an interactive online module entitled Why the Eye? on the Understanding Evolution website. Students gain a better understanding of the different types of animal eyes and how natural selection can account for the evolution of a complex organ.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Online activity or lab

imageEvo in the news: Fighting the evolution of malaria in Cambodia
This news brief from December 2009 focuses on one of the world’s most deadly infectious diseases: malaria. Malaria is normally treatable, but now some strains are evolving resistance to our most effective drug. Find out how researchers and doctors are trying to control the evolution of the disease.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: A fish of a different color
This news brief, from February 2006, describes how a mutated zebrafish gene may help us understand human evolution and the genes underlying human skin color. Humans and zebrafish both inherited the same pigmentation gene from their common ancestor.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Conserving the kakapo
This news brief, from April 2006, chronicles how researchers are using evolutionary theory to guide their strategies for conserving a critically endangered parrot - with some impressive results!

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Musseling in on evolution
This news brief, from September 2006, reviews a recent case of evolution in action. In just 15 years, mussels have evolved in response to an invasive crab species. Find out how biologists uncovered this example of evolution on double time.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Warming to evolution
Global warming increasingly affects many aspects of our environment, from the sea level to tropical storm strength. But that's far from the full story. This news brief from July 2006 describes how global warming has already begun to affect the evolution of several species on Earth.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Got lactase?
The ability to digest milk is a recent evolutionary innovation that has spread through some human populations. This news brief from April 2007 describes how evolution has allowed different human populations to take advantage of the nutritional possibilities of dairying and links evolution with the prevalence of lactose tolerance among people of different ethnicities.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Better biofuels through evolution
This news brief from April 2009 describes how synthetic biologists are using the process of directed evolution to improve the efficiency of biofuel production.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Sex, speciation, and fishy physics
More than 500 species of cichlid fish inhabit Africa's Lake Victoria. This news brief from March 2009 explains new research suggesting that the physics of light may have played an important role in cichlid diversification and in the recent drop in their diversity.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Evolving altitude aptitude
This news brief from October 2010 examines new research that makes it clear that Tibetan highlanders have not just acclimated to their mountain home; evolutionary adaptations have equipped them with unique physiological mechanisms for dealing with low oxygen levels.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageThe genes that lie beneath: The work of Leslea Hlusko
Evolutionary biologist Leslea Hlusko's research takes her from the deserts of Ethiopia, where she hunts for hominid and primate fossils, to a baboon colony in San Antonio where she takes thousands of measurements of the primates' imposing canines. This research profile describes how the two projects are linked by a hunt for genetic variation, a key component of natural selection.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

imageBiological warfare and the coevolutionary arms race
The rough-skinned newt looks harmless enough but is, in fact, packed full of one of the most potent neurotoxins known to man. Find out how an evolutionary arms race has pushed these mild-mannered critters to the extremes of toxicity and how evolutionary biologists have unraveled their fascinating story.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Article

imageEvolution connection: Proteins, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids
This short slide set weaves basic information about carbohydrates, proteins, and nucleic acids into one evolutionary story regarding the evolution of lactose tolerance, which relates to students’ everyday lives. Save the slide set to your computer to view the explanation and notes that go along with each slide.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo Connection slide set

imageWhy the eye?
Eyes are something of an icon of evolution. How did such an integrated, multi-part adaptation evolve? While many different animals have complex eyes, untangling their evolutionary history reveals both remarkable diversity and surprising similarity.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Article

imageEvolution connection: Photosynthesis 1
This short slide set explains the existence of photorespiration using evolutionary history. Save the slide set to your computer to view the explanation and notes that go along with each slide.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo Connection slide set

imageToxin resistance in clams
This case study in the form of a set of PowerPoint slides examines the evolution of toxin resistance in clams.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Evo-Ed

Resource type: Case study

imageThe Making of the Fittest: Natural Selection in Humans
This 14-minute film describes the connection between the infectious parasitic disease malaria and the genetic disease sickle cell anemia - one of the best-understood examples of natural selection in humans.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Resource type: Video

imageHigh altitude adaptations: The work of Emilia Huerta-Sánchez
This research profile follows statistician and population geneticist Emilia Huerta-Sánchez as she studies the adaptations that allow Tibetan highlanders to live 13,000 feet above sea level without developing altitude sickness.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

imageEvo in the News: Grasshoppers change their tune. Is it evolution in action?
This news brief, from December 2012, describes new research into how traffic noise affects insect populations. Several hypotheses to explain the change in grasshoppers' songs are examined.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageSexo, especiación y física subacuática
Evolución en las noticias relata una reciente historia que señala como comprender física básica puede revelar como la evolución esta ocurriendo hoy — en especial, como la física de la luz tiene influencia sobre la selección sexual, especiación y el colapso de la biodiversidad, producto de la polución causada por los humanos...

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageMejores biocombustibles gracias a la evolución
Actualmente, la mayoría de nosotros llenamos nuestro tanque de gasolina con combustibles fósiles, es decir, restos de plantas y animales que murieron muchos millones de años atrás y eventualmente se convirtieron en petróleo — pero, por supuesto, esto no puede perdurar para siempre. El petróleo es un recurso limitado y en algún momento se va a terminar. Para ayudar a solucionar este problema, muchos científicos, políticos, gente de negocios y ciudadanos preocupados han puesto sus esperanzas en los biocombustibles...

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageThe Making of the Fittest: Natural Selection and Adaption
This 10-minute film describes the research of Dr. Michael Nachman and colleagues, whose work in the field and in the lab has documented and quantified physical and genetic evolutionary changes in rock pocket mouse populations.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Resource type: Video

imageThe Making of the Fittest: The Birth and Death of Genes
This 13-minute film describes how scientists have pieced together the evolutionary history of the Antarctic icefish by studying its genome — an excellent case study for genetic evolution as both the gain and loss of genes have led to key adaptations.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Resource type: Video

imageEvo in the news: No more mystery meat
This news brief from April 2013 describes new research on the origin of American cattle breeds. The story told by the cows' genes crisscrosses the trajectory of human evolutionary history — from wild aurochs that lived alongside Neanderthals, to Christopher Columbus and, ultimately, the American West …

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

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