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imageA closer look at a classic ring species: The work of Tom Devitt
The Ensatina salamander has been extensively investigated because it is a ring species — a species that demonstrates how geography and the gradual accumulation of genetic differences factor into the process of speciation. Biologist Tom Devitt continues the more than 50 years of Ensatina research by applying new genetic techniques and asking new questions about this classic evolutionary example.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

imageA fisheye view of the tree of life
This interactive phylogeny of the ray-finned fishes lets users dynamically explore the evolution of fish traits, as well as read stories about the evolution of unusual characteristics such as bioluminescence and venom.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Interactive

imageA look at linguistic evolution
We typically think of evolution occurring within populations of organisms. But in fact, evolutionary concepts can be applied even beyond the biological world. Any system that has variation, differential reproduction, and some form of inheritance will evolve if given enough time. Find out how an understanding of evolution can illuminate the field of linguistics.
This article appears at SpringerLink.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Evolution: Education and Outreach

Resource type: Article

imageA name by any other tree
Phylogenetics has affected almost every area of biology - even the most basic one: how we classify organisms. Find out how phylogenetic classification works and what its advantages are.
This article appears at SpringerLink.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Evolution: Education and Outreach

Resource type: Article

imageA Step in Speciation
Students compare different subspecies of a California salamander on a grid map of California to focus on patterns of their distribution, their likely evolutionary relationships, and probable sequence of formation from the ancestral salamander.

Audience: 13-16

Source: ENSI

Resource type: Lab activity

imageA Strange Fish Indeed: The "Discovery" of a Living Fossil
Through a series of fictionalized diary entries, this case recounts the 1939 discovery by Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer (and identification by J.L.B. Smith) of a living coelacanth, a fish believed to have been extinct for 70 million years.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Grant, Robert

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageA Survey About Science
Students conduct a survey about the nature of science, laws, theories, hypotheses, scientists, and evolution.

Audience: 13-16

Source: WGBH

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageActive-learning slides for undergraduate evolution instruction
This resource describes three types of short activity that are simple to introduce into a lecture-based course, that can be incorporated into a slide presentation, and that help increase the level of active pedagogy: minute papers, personal response questions, and problem-based discussions. Many downloadable sample slides regarding evolutionary topics are provided.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Slide set

imageAloha, spider style! The work of Rosemary Gillespie
This research profile follows Dr. Rosemary Gillespie to Hawaii as she evaluates hypotheses about the evolution of the colorful happy-face spider.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

imageAn antipodal mystery
The discovery of the platypus had the scientific world in an uproar with its mammal-like and bird-like features. How was one to classify the platypus? This case study uses this issue to model the scientific process, with scientists arguing, debating, collecting more evidence, and revising their opinions as new data become available.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Herreid, Clyde Freeman

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageAncient fossils and modern climate change: The work of Jennifer McElwain
Wondering how global warming will affect our planet? Scientist Jennifer McElwain studies the fossil record in order to learn more about how global warming has affected life on Earth in the past and how it might affect life on Earth in the future.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

imageAngling for evolutionary answers: The work of David O. Conover
Human activity has certainly affected our physical environment - but it is also changing the course of evolution. This research profile follows scientist David O. Conover as he investigates the impact of our fishing practices on fish evolution and discovers what happened to the big ones that got away.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

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

imageBattling bacterial evolution: The work of Carl Bergstrom
This research profile examines how the scientist Carl Bergstrom uses computer modeling to understand and control the evolution of antibiotic resistant bacteria in hospitals.

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

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

imageCandy Dish Selection
Students find that selection occurs in a dish of mixed candies.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Tang, Carol

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageCells within cells: An extraordinary claim with extraordinary evidence
When biologist Lynn Margulis revived the strange-sounding idea that the merging of cells played a prominent role in the evolution of complex life, the scientific community roundly rejected the notion. Today, this idea is accepted as a textbook fact. Learn more about the evidence and social factors that spurred the acceptance of this key aspect of evolutionary theory.
This article is available from the Understanding Science website.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Understanding Science

Resource type: Article

imageChimpanzee Droppings Lead Scientists to Evolutionary Discovery
Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) is thought to be a precursor to HIV. This multi-part case study explores changes in SIV in different chimpanzee populations and how researchers use this information to test hypotheses about the origins of HIV.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Kosal, Erica F.

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageChromosome Comparison 2: Comparison of Human and Chimp Chromosomes
Students observe that the banding patterns seen on stained chromosomes from humans and chimpanzees show striking similarities. Possible evolutionary relationships are explored, as are the chromosomes and relationships of other apes.

Audience: 13-16

Source: ENSI

Resource type: Lab activity

imageClassification and Evolution
Students construct an evolutionary tree of imaginary animals (Caminalcules) to illustrate how modern classification schemes attempt to reflect evolutionary history.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Gendron, Robert

Resource type: Lab activity

imageCSI: Olduvai Gorge. The work of Jackson Njau
This research profile follows paleoanthropologist Jackson Njau as he investigates ancient predators, like crocodiles and large cats, in an effort to understand how these organisms shaped the evolution of our human ancestors.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

imageDarwin's "extreme" imperfection?
Darwin used the words "extreme imperfection" to describe the gappy nature of the fossil record - but is this really such a problem? This article delves into the topic of transitional fossils and explores what we have learned about them since Darwin's time.
This article appears at SpringerLink.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Evolution: Education and Outreach

Resource type: Article

image¿De donde vienen todas las especies de Madagascar?
Continuando la celebración del tema de Octubre en el Año de la Ciencia, las ciencias de la tierra y el planeta Tierra, la historia de este mes se centra en cómo la geografía y la geología han moldeado la evolución de la vida en uno de los lugares más singulares de la Tierra. Madagascar, la cuarta isla más grande del mundo, se encuentra en el Océano índico a varios cientos de kilómetros de la costa sureste de áfrica y constituye el hogar de una notable variedad de especies vegetales y animales, incluido el aye aye, la fossa, el camaleón y el árbol baobab...

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

image¿Decisiones de conservación difíciles? Pregúntale a la evolución
¿Si tu casa se incendiara, que es lo que te llevarías cuando estés huyendo? La decisión puede ser difícil entre juguetes de niños, álbumes de fotos y documentos importantes compitiendo por tu atención. Desafortunadamente, nos enfrentamos con una decisión difícil cuando tenemos que definir nuestros esfuerzos de conservación. Las actividades humanas podrían estar desencadenado la sexta extinción masiva de la Tierra...

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageDetermining Age of Rocks and Fossils
In this series of lessons students learn the basic principles used to determine the age of rocks and fossils by using half-life in radioactive decay and stratigraphy.

Audience: 13-16

Source: McKinney, Frank

Resource type: Lab activity

image¿Eres un mal estimador? La culpa es de la evolución
La próxima vez que estés en la cocina, prueba este experimento: toma una caja de manteca en una mano y una caja de galletas saladas en tu otra mano. ¿Cuál es más pesada? Si dijiste la manteca, no estás solo. La mayoría de las personas identifica la caja de manteca como el objeto mas pesado — a pesar de que si miras la etiqueta ¡verás que ambas pesan exactamente una libra! ¿Por qué ocurre esto?

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEspeciación en tiempo real
Generalmente, pensamos en la especiación como un proceso lento. Toda la evidencia disponible sostiene la idea de que diferentes especies evolucionaron desde ancestros comunes, y sin embargo, nuevas especies no aparecen a nuestro alrededor diariamente. Para muchos biólogos, esto implica que la especiación ocurre tan lentamente que es difícil observarla en escalas de tiempo humanas. Sin embargo, nuevas investigaciones sugieren que la especiación podria ser más fácil de observar de lo que pensamos.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the News: "Error. Greed does not compute."
This news brief from May 2011 describes how researchers are using tiny robots to study the evolution of altruistic behaviors.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: "Superweed" discovered in Britain?
This news brief, from October of 2005, describes the discovery of an herbicide resistant weed in Britain and illustrates the relationship between genetic engineering and evolution.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: A chink in HIV's evolutionary armor
Medical researchers have spent billions of dollars and many decades trying to develop an HIV vaccine but have, thus far, failed. Why is an HIV vaccine so elusive? This news brief from March 2007 explains how HIV's rapid rate of evolution challenges medicine and describes a new discovery that may allow vaccine developers to sidestep that evolution.

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: A new look at dinosaur fossils pushes back the evolution of feathered wings
This news brief, from November 2012, describes what a new dinosaur fossil from North America has to tell us about the evolution of feathers.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: A new old animal
A new species of velvet worm was recently discovered in Vietnam. This news brief from September 2013 describes the key position of velvet worms in evolutionary history and how they help us better understand the fossil record of the Cambrian period.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: A species' unwelcome inheritance - extinction risk
Even as the world loses species at an unprecedented rate, conservationists are struggling to save them. But where should they focus their efforts? This news brief from September 2009 describes new research suggesting that evolutionary history is an important factor in determining which species are at the gravest risk of extinction.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the News: Acidic oceans prompt evolution
This news brief, from October 2012, describes new research into the evolutionary response that ocean acidification may prompt in some plankton species.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: An antibiotic that exploits evolutionary history
In October 2011, the World Health Organization announced that tuberculosis cases are on the decline for the first time in at least 20 years. Our battle against this ancient disease has been fought, in part, through the use of antibiotics like streptomycin. This news brief describes the 1.8 billion year evolutionary history behind these drugs.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Another perspective on cancer
This news brief, from October of 2007, describes the evolutionary underpinnings of cancer. Recognizing cancer as a form of cellular evolution helps explain why a cure remains elusive and points the way toward new treatments.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Antibiotic resistant bacteria at the meat counter
This news brief from May 2013 describes research showing that a large percentage of the meat in supermarkets is contaminated with antibiotic resistant bacteria. An evolutionary perspective explains how antibiotic resistance arises in the first place and why the prevalence of resistant bugs in livestock has health professionals and scientists worried.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Bad at estimating? Blame evolution
Scientists have long noted the universality of the size-weight illusion and formulated different hypotheses to explain it. Now new research suggests that this error may actually be an adaptation with roots in an important but sometimes overlooked aspect of human evolution: throwing skill.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Bed bugs bite back thanks to evolution
This news brief of September 2010 examines the resurgence of bed bugs throughout the country, and the real bad news is that those bed bugs have evolved resistance to the chemicals most commonly used for eradication.

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: Cheating cheetahs prosper
Biologists have discovered that female cheetahs consistently seek out multiple mates. This news brief, from July 2007, explains how the evolutionary implications of this behavior may help conservation efforts targeting these endangered animals.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the News: Climate change causes loss of genetic diversity
This news brief, from April 2012, describes how climate change is affecting a population of chipmunks in Yosemite National Park. The chipmunks' loss of genetic variation may affect their ability to survive and their future evolutionary potential.

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: Coping with climate change
This news brief from May 2009 explores the difference between phenotypic plasticity and evolutionary change in relation to the media's coverage of climate change.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Evolution and the avian flu
This news brief, from November of 2005, describes the threat of avian flu. The stage is set for this virus to evolve into a strain that could cause a deadly global pandemic.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Evolution at the scene of the crime
This news brief, from March 2006, describes how DNA fingerprinting is being used to prosecute and exonerate the accused. DNA fingerprinting relies on the processes of mutation and genome evolution.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Evolution down under
This news brief, from September of 2008, describes an unusual contagious cancer currently decimating Tasmanian devil populations. Learn about the fascinating interplay between the evolution of the devils and the evolution of the disease.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Evolution from a virus's view
This news brief from December 2007 describes a new virulent strain of the common cold and examines how and why virulence evolves.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Evolution in the fast lane?
Have humans, with all of our technological advances, exempted ourselves from further evolution? Perhaps not. This news brief, from February 2008, examines genetic research which suggests that human evolution may haved actually accelerated in our recent history.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Evolution's dating and mating game
This news brief from May of 2008 describes new research on octopus mating and reveals how evolution can favor some surprising courtship behaviors.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Evolutionary evidence takes the stand
This news brief, from January of 2007, describes the role of phylogenetic evidence in a Libyan court case. Six medical workers have been convicted of injecting children with HIV-tainted blood - but the evolutionary history of the virus paints a different picture.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the News: Evolutionary history in a tiny package
This news brief, from March 2012, describes the discovery four new species — all miniature chameleons — and explores the concept of island dwarfism.

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

imageEvo in the news: Evolving conservation strategies
This news brief, from June 2007, explains how biologists are using evolutionary theory to protect the biodiversity that exists today and that may evolve tomorrow.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

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: Gender-biased bacteria throw off an evolutionary balance
The percentage of southwestern whiteflies infected with Rickettsia bacteria has skyrocketed; but this is not a boon for local farmers, as the bacterium actively helps the pest spread. This news brief examines how evolutionary theory accounts for this and how we might turn it in our favor.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Genealogy enthusiasts mine DNA for clues to evolutionary history
This news brief, from November 2007, turns an evolutionary lens on businesses that use DNA for genealogy research and, in the process, illuminates what their genetic tests really track.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Genetic variation helps rescue endangered panthers
In the 1990s, scientists predicted that the Florida panther would be extinct within 20 years and, in 1995, formulated a bold plan to save them. This news brief of December 2010 reports on the success of that plan which gave the panther a second lease on life by the infusion of genetic variation.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Ghosts of epidemics past
HIV and malaria both constitute global health threats, respectively affecting more than 30 million and 200 million people worldwide. This news brief from October 2008 describes new research that reveals an unexpected evolutionary link between the two.

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: 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

imageEvo in the news: Happy 200th, Darwin!
This news brief, from February 2009, celebrates Darwin's bicentennial by examining what we've learned about the evolution of the Galapagos finches since Darwin's time.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: HIV's not-so-ancient history
First described in 1981, HIV is a distinctly modern disease. But for how long before its discovery did HIV lurk unnoticed in human populations? This news brief from November 2008 describes new research offering insight into when (and how) HIV got its start.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Hotspots for evolution
Why are there so many different species in the tropics? This news brief, from June 2006, suggests why: warmer weather may be linked to a quicker pace for evolution.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the News: Hybrid sharks aren't "trying" to adapt
This news brief, from February 2012, describes the discovery of hybrid sharks in Australian waters, debunks some common misconceptions regarding the discovery, and examines the possible evolutionary trajectories of these animals.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Influenza, an ever-evolving target for vaccine development
Some vaccines provide lifelong protection with one or a few doses, but the flu requires a new shot every year. And in some years, the flu shot is hardly effective at all. Why is the flu vaccine different from so many other vaccines? This news brief from February 2013 provides the evolutionary explanation.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the News: Lessons for today in ancient mass extinctions
This news brief, from May 2012, describes new research on the end-Ordovician mass extinction and the lessons we might glean about extinctions going on around us today.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Livestock kick a drug habit
This news brief, from September of 2005, describes the FDA ban on the use of the antibiotic Baytril in poultry production. The decision was made in order to reduce the danger presented by the evolution of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Making sense of ancient hominin DNA
In March 2010 German researchers announced that they had managed to extract DNA from the 40,000 year old fossil bone from a child discovered in a Siberian cave and that it didn't match up to the known genetic sequences of either humans or Neanderthals! This news brief examines the evidence in more detail and considers what that evidence might — or might not — mean about such claims.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: More than morphology
This news brief, from August 2006, describes recent research on T. rex, with a special focus on how paleontologists move beyond the shape of the animal's bones to learn about aspects of its life that don't fossilize very well: its physiology, sensory abilities, and population dynamics.

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: 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

imageEvo in the news: One small fossil, one giant step for polar bear evolution
This news brief from April 2010 describes what scientists have learned by extracting DNA from a polar bear fossil more than 100,000 years old. Though the fossil itself was just a fragment of the skeleton—the lower left portion of the jaw, still containing a tooth—the DNA had a lot to say about polar bear evolution.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Oxygen as an evolutionary constraint
This news brief from November 2009 focuses on how changes in atmospheric chemistry may have factored into the evolution of life on Earth—specifically, life’s quadrillion-fold growth spurt from microscopic bacteria to organisms the size of the blue whale.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Quick bites and quirky adaptations
Trap-jaw ants made headlines with the record-breaking speed of their jaws and a quirky behavior: flinging themselves into the air using the power of their mandibles. This news brief from October 2006 reveals the evolutionary story behind the headlines.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Quick evolution leads to quiet crickets
The tropical island of Kauai has always been a quiet place, but now it may be getting even more quiet. This news brief, from December 2006, reveals how Kauai's cricket population has evolved into a "chirpless" variety in just a few years.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Seeing the tree for the twigs
Recent research has revealed that, in at least some ways, chimpanzees have evolved more than humans have. This news brief from May 2007 delves into this finding further and, in the process, debunks common misperceptions of human evolution.

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: Speciation in real time
We often think of speciation as a slow process—so slow that we can’t really observe it going on around us. This news brief from Febrary 2010 describes two examples which demonstrate that, at least occasionally, important steps toward speciation can be observed in less than 50 years.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Spreading disease on evolutionary timescales
Most infectious diseases that we are familiar with are passed from human to human; however, on evolutionary timescales, pathogens don't necessarily respect species boundaries. This news brief from November 2010 examines a recently discovered case of disease swapping among species involving a deadly strain of malaria.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Superbug, super-fast evolution
Methicillin-resistant staph infections now contribute to more US deaths than does HIV. This news brief from April of 2008 explains the quirks of bacterial evolution that make them such a threat.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: The evidence lines up in early mammal evolution
This news brief, from September 2011, describes the discovery of a new mammal species that highlights just how long mammals have been around. Back in the Jurassic, dinosaurs may have dominated terrestrial ecosystems, but they were not alone. Scurrying around their feet and clinging to the trees above them were the fuzzy ancestors of their successors.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: The evolutionary history of jogging
This news brief from March 2010 describes a new fitness trend: barefoot running. Though it might sound like just another fitness fad, soon to go the way of hula-hoops or jazzercise, this trend has a surprising connection to evolution.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: The legless lizards of LAX
This news brief from October 2013 describes the discovery of four new species of legless lizard. Why don't we just call these animals snakes? Because of their evolutionary history...

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: The new shrew that's not
This news brief from March of 2008 describes scientists' discovery of a new mammal species, a giant elephant shrew. Though elephant shrews resemble regular shrews, recent genetic evidence suggests that elephant shrews actually sprang from a much older (and perhaps more charismatic) branch of the tree of life - the one belonging to elephants and their relatives.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: The other green (r)evolution
Though corn is "all-natural" in some ways, in others it is entirely manmade. This news brief from February 2007 explains the evolutionary tools that ancient humans used to engineer modern corn and the tools that scientists are using today to reconstruct corn's evolutionary history.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: The recent roots of dental disease
This news brief from March 2013 describes new research suggesting that human dietary changes associated with the invention of agriculture and the Industrial Evolution caused an epidemic of tooth decay and gum disease. This link between diet and oral health is an example of a mismatch to modernity — a case in which a disease results from a modern lifestyle feature that our lineage has not experienced during the course of its evolutionary history.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Tough conservation choices? Ask evolution
The earth is facing a biodiversity crisis. Nearly 50% of animal and plant species could disappear within our lifetime. To stem this rapid loss of biodiversity, we'll need to act quickly — but where should we begin? This news brief, from December 2008, explains how evolutionary history can help us set conservation priorities.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Toxic river means rapid evolution for one fish species
This news brief from March 2011 examines the genetic basis for the evolution of resistance to PCBs in the Hudson River tomcod. Though this is great for the tomcod, what might it mean for other organisms in the ecosystem?

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Tracking SARS back to its source
This news brief, from January of 2006, traces the source of the SARS virus. Using phylogenetics, biologists have come up with a plausible path of transmission which may help us prevent future outbreaks of diseases such as HIV, SARS, and West Nile virus.

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: What comes after mass extinctions?
This news brief, from September 2012, describes the aftermath of mass extinctions--what happens to surviving species in the wake of a massive extinction event.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: What has the head of a crocodile and the gills of a fish?
This news brief, from May 2006, reviews what is likely to be the most important fossil find of the year: Tiktaalik helps us understand how our own ancestors crawled out of the water and began to walk on dry land.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the News: When fighting leukemia, evolutionary history matters
This news brief, from December 2011, describes how evolutionary history can factor into the success of a bone marrow transplant.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: When it comes to evolution, headlines often get it wrong
Newly discovered fossils are prompting some scientists to consider a minor revision of the relationships shown on the human family tree. This news brief from September 2007 clarifies the occasionally misleading news coverage of the story.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Where did all of Madagascar's species come from?
Recently, political unrest in Madagascar has threatened to set back the island's expanding conservation efforts, and criminals have taken advantage of the instability, looting protected forests for rare wood. This news story from October 2009 turns back the clock to consider the biogeographic processes that made Madagascar into a biodiversity hotspot in the first place.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Where species come from
Lush tropical ecosystems house many times more species than temperate or Arctic regions. This news brief from November 2006 discusses the evolutionary explanation for this diversity trend and reveals why threats to tropical ecosystems may threaten diversity on a global scale.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo-devo
Understanding the process of development can help us understand how some major evolutionary changes occurred and why others did not.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Tutorial

imageEvolución 101
¿Qué es la evolución y cómo funciona? Introducción a la evolución ofrece información detallada y práctica sobre los patrones y los mecanismos de la evolución.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Article

imageEvolution and Antibiotic Resistance
Students learn why evolution is at the heart of a world health threat by investigating the increasing problem of antibiotic resistance in such menacing diseases as tuberculosis.

Audience: 13-16

Source: WGBH

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageEvolution connection: DNA replication
This short slide set explains the fidelity of DNA replication in evolutionary terms. 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

imageEvolution connection: Mitochondria and plastids
This short slide set describes how many characteristics of mitochondria and plastids are explained by their endosymbiotic origins. 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

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

imageEvolution connection: Photosynthesis 2
This short slide set explains uniformity and variation in the process of photosynthesis across all life 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

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

imageEvolution connection: Ribosomes
This short slide set explains how some antibiotics target the bacterial ribosome and don't attack the ribosomes in our own cells through a quirk of 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

imageEvolution connection: The Krebs Cycle
This short slide set explains the uniformity of the Krebs cycle across all life using evolutionary theory. 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

imageEvolution connection: Transcription and translation
This short slide set relates the role of RNA in the processes of transcription and translation to RNA’s evolutionary history and the remnants of the RNA world. 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

imageEvolution misconceptions diagnostic
In this 12-item multiple-choice evolution test, wrong answers are designed to tap into common student misconceptions. It can be used to diagnose evolution misconceptions and assess the effectiveness of instruction in helping students overcome their misconceptions.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Assessment

imageEvolutionary trees from the tabloids and beyond
This article describes practical applications of phylogenetics, focusing on intriguing cases ripe for deployment in classrooms — like using phylogenetics to investigate crimes.
This article appears at SpringerLink.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Evolution: Education and Outreach

Resource type: Article

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

image¡Feliz cumpleaños número 200, Darwin!
Este 12 de febrero se cumplirían 200 años del nacimiento de Charles Darwin, y todo el mundo esta invitado a la fiesta. Numerosos grupos alrededor del mundo — desde niños en las escuelas primarias, hasta museos e iglesias — celebraran la ciencia de la evolución con conferencias públicas, clases, obras teatrales, exhibiciones artísticas y muchísimas galletas con forma de tortugas. 'Evolución en las noticias' de este mes contribuye a la celebración mediante la revisión de un tema cercano y querido por Darwin: los pinzones de Galápagos...

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageFire ants invade and evolve
Understanding the evolution of fire ants may help scientists control the spread of these pests, which have already taken over much of the U.S.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Article

imageFrom the origin of life to the future of biotech: The work of Andy Ellington
This research profile examines how scientist Andy Ellington has co-opted the power of artificial selection to construct new, useful molecules in his lab. The results of his work could help protect us from terrorist attacks and fight HIV and cancer.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

imageGreat Fossil Find
Students are taken on an imaginary fossil hunt and hypothesize as to the identity of the creature they discover. Students revise their hypotheses as new evidence is "found."

Audience: 13-16

Source: ENSI

Resource type: Classroom activity

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

imageHominid Cranium Comparison (The "Skulls" Lab)
Students describe, measure and compare cranial casts from contemporary apes, modern humans, and fossil hominids to discover some of the similarities and differences between these forms and to see the pattern leading to modern humans.

Audience: 13-16

Source: ENSI

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageHow are humans related to other primates?
In this two-part laboratory students analyze skull morphology and DNA sequences among primate species to answer one of the most meaningful questions in biology: How are humans related to other animals?

Audience: 13-16

Source: Kalinowski, Steven

Resource type: Lab activity

imageHow boogieing birds evolved: The work of Kim Bostwick
This research profile follows ornithologist Kim Bostwick through the jungles of Ecuador and the halls of museums as she investigates the evolution of an exotic bird's complex mating dance.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

imageHow to survive a mass extinction: The work of David Jablonski
Through detailed analysis of patterns in the fossil record, scientist David Jablonski reconstructs the rules that helped dictate who lived and died in past mass extinctions. This research profile describes his surprising discoveries and their disturbing implications for the biodiversity crisis today.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

imageInducing Evolution in Bean Beetles
In this lab, students design and conduct experiments to evaluate whether evolution by natural selection (or alternatively, genetic drift) may be induced in laboratory populations.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Morehouse College and Emory University

Resource type: Lab activity

imageInvestigating Common Descent: Formulating Explanations and Models
Students formulate explanations and models that simulate structural and biochemical data as they investigate the misconception that humans evolved from apes.

Audience: 13-16

Source: National Academy of Sciences

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageInvestigating Natural Selection
Students experience one mechanism for evolution through a simulation that models the principles of natural selection and helps answer the question: How might biological change have occurred and been reinforced over time?

Audience: 13-16

Source: National Academy of Sciences

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageIsland biogeography and evolution: Solving a phylogenetic puzzle using molecular genetics
Students focus on the evolution of three species of lizards using real data sets — geographical and geological data, then morphology, and finally molecular data — to determine possible phylogenetic explanations.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Filson, R.P.

Resource type: Lab activity

imageIt takes teamwork: How endosymbiosis changed life on Earth
You might be surprised to learn that descendents of an ancient bacterium are living in every cell of your body! Find out how endosymbiosis factored into the evolution of your own cells and learn about a modern example of this process.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Article

imageJournal Club Toolkit
This set of teaching materials aims to help instructors engage their students with the primary literature in evolutionary biology through a "journal club" that can be implemented in a discussion section or smaller class. It includes several helpful tools: annotated articles, a reading guide, additional suggested reading, and tips for students leading a discussion of a journal article.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Annotated journal article

imageJuego evolutivo de citas y apareamiento
Largamente asumidos como solitarios, al menos una especie de pulpo lleva una compleja vida amorosa. El mes pasado, los biólogos Christine Huffard, Roy Caldwell y Farnis Boneka reportaron los resultados de los primeros estudios a largo plazo sobre el comportamiento de apareamiento de pulpos en la naturaleza...

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageLa herencia inoportuna de una especie: riesgo de extinción
El tema de septiembre, biodiversidad y conservación, en celebración del Año de la Ciencia, la historia de este mes esta basada en el enemigo de la diversidad: la extinción. El mundo se enfrenta a lo que podría ser la sexta extinción masiva. Estamos perdiendo especies a un ritmo sin precedentes — 100 a 1000 veces más alto que a lo largo de la mayor parte de la historia de la tierra...

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageLas chinches de cama pican de nuevo gracias a la evolución
Las chinches de cama puede parecer un viejo problema pasado de moda, sin embargo ahora están de vuelta — y con venganza. Hace cincuenta años, estas plagas chupadoras de sangre estaban casi erradicadas en los Estados Unidos gracias, en parte, al uso de pesticidas como el DDT. Hoy, se arrastran entre las sabanas — y atormentan a los desgraciados soñadores — en todo el país...

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

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

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Article

imageMate choice and fitness consequences
Students read a 2005 paper on the fitness consequences of mate choice alongside an interactive guide that asks the reader to answer key questions about each section of the article.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Annotated journal article

imageMechanisms of evolution slide set
This set of three PowerPoint slides featuring personal response questions (i.e., multiple choice questions that can be used with "clicker" technology) can be incorporated into lectures on the mechanisms of evolution in order to actively engage students in thinking about evolution.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Slide set

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

imageMinute paper slide set
This set of 18 PowerPoint slides features minute paper questions (questions for brief, in-class writing assignments) about a wide variety of evolutionary topics. Minute papers have become a widely used technique for actively engaging students and provide an excellent way to break up a class session. They take just a few minutes to complete and can be easily incorporated into lecture material.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Slide set

imageMonkey opsins
This case study in the form of a set of PowerPoint slides examines the evolution of trichromatic vision in old world monkeys.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Evo-Ed

Resource type: Case study

imageMouse fur color
This case study in the form of a set of PowerPoint slides examines the evolution of light fur in beach mice from the molecular level up to the population genetics level.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Evo-Ed

Resource type: Case study

imageNames, they are a-changing
The popular press often describes scientific controversies regarding which species ancient hominin fossils represent and how they are related to one another. How should students interpret the frequent name changes experienced by our extinct relatives? What should they make of headlines that trumpet major revisions of the branching patterns on our limb of the tree of life? This article will help teachers develop instruction surrounding these issues, discourage misconceptions, and help students interpret media coverage in light of the process of science.
This article appears at SpringerLink.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Evolution: Education and Outreach

Resource type: Article

imageNatural selection and adaptation slide set
This set of five PowerPoint slides featuring personal response questions (i.e., multiple choice questions that can be used with "clicker" technology) can be incorporated into lectures on natural selection and adaptation in order to actively engage students in thinking about evolution.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Slide set

imageNot Just a Theory
Students engage in an activity that clarifies the scientific meaning of the term theory.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageOrnamentation in birds
In this investigation students explore the connection between competition for mates and the evolution of elaborate traits in birds. Using the online database Birds of North America , students develop and test a set of hypotheses to explain the variation in sexual dimorphism among bird species.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Resource type: Lab activity

imageParsimonious explanations for punctuated patterns
Punctuated equilibrium is sometimes erroneously cited as evidence that evolutionary biology still hasn't figured out how evolution works. In fact nothing could be further from the truth. Punctuated equilibrium builds on (not tears down!) established evolutionary theory. Find out how the process works.
This article appears at SpringerLink.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Evolution: Education and Outreach

Resource type: Article

imagePea taste
This case study in the form of a set of PowerPoint slides examines the evolution of the wrinkled pea from its ancestral round pea shape.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Evo-Ed

Resource type: Case study

imagePhylogenetic systematics, a.k.a. evolutionary trees
Learn about phylogenetic systematics, the study of the evolutionary relationships among organisms, and how the field is shaping biological research today.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Tutorial

imagePhylogenetics and tree thinking slide set
This set of five PowerPoint slides featuring personal response questions (i.e., multiple choice questions that can be used with "clicker" technology) can be incorporated into lectures on the mechanisms of evolution in order to actively engage students in thinking about evolution.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Slide set

imagePopulation genetics slide set
This set of two PowerPoint slides featuring personal response questions (i.e., multiple choice questions that can be used with "clicker" technology) can be incorporated into lectures on the mechanisms of evolution in order to actively engage students in thinking about evolution.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Slide set

imageProblem-based discussion: Natural selection in Darwin's finches
This set of two PowerPoint slides featuring questions for problem-based discussion (i.e., open-ended questions that engage students with each other and with course material) can be easily incorporated into lectures on natural selection.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Slide set

imageProblem-based discussion: Population genetics calculations and Hardy Weinberg
This set of two PowerPoint slides featuring questions for problem-based discussion (i.e., open-ended questions that engage students with each other and with course material) can be easily incorporated into lectures on populations genetics.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Slide set

imageProblem-based discussion: Simulations of genetic drift
This set of five PowerPoint slides featuring questions for problem-based discussion (i.e., open-ended questions that engage students with each other and with course material) can be easily incorporated into lectures on genetic drift.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Slide set

imageRadiations and extinctions: Biodiversity through the ages
This excerpted chapter from Carl Zimmer's book, The Tangled Bank, describes the evolutionary processes responsible for large scale patterns in the diversity of life through time. Reprinted with the permission of Roberts and Company Publishers, Inc.
This resource is available from the National Center for Science Education.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Zimmer, Carl

Resource type: Article

imageSelection and evolution with a deck of cards
This classroom exercise introduces the concept of evolution by natural selection in a hypothesis-driven, experimental fashion, using a deck of cards.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Evolution: Education and Outreach

Resource type: Classroom activity

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

imageSound trees
Students learn how spectrograms represent sound variation and then examine the sounds of owls for traits that might be useful in determining evolutionary relationships. They compare these traits to morphological ones and test their hypotheses.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Resource type: Lab activity

imageSpecies Concepts in Birds
This investigation uses multimedia such as bird songs and their associated visualizations to initiate a discussion of traits that can be used to define a species and the resulting conservation implications of that definition.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Resource type: Lab activity

imageStabilization of the fig-pollinator mutualism
Students read a 2008 paper on the role of parasites in stabilizing the fig-pollinator mutualism alongside an interactive guide that explains each section of the paper and draws the reader's attention to important points in the article.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Annotated journal article

imageStudying Living Organisms: Estimation of Population Growth by Counting Offspring: Seed Multiplication
This simple activity allows students to discover or reason through a portion of Darwin's theory of natural selection. Students use seeds from common fruits (e.g. apple seeds) to hypothesize/calculate the reproductive rate of a population, realize that such large populations do not exist, and conclude that organisms face a constant struggle to survive.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Access Excellence

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageTeaching the Process of Molecular Phylogeny and Systematics: A Multi-Part Inquiry-Based Exercise
Students explore molecular data from Homo sapiens and four related primates and develop hypotheses regarding the ancestry of these five species by analyzing DNA sequences, protein sequences, and chromosomal maps.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Lents, Nathan, et al

Resource type: Lab activity

imageThe Checks Lab
Students construct plausible scenarios using bank checks to learn how human values and biases influence observation and interpretation.

Audience: 13-16

Source: ENSI

Resource type: Classroom activity

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

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: 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

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

imageThe Meaning of Genetic Variation
Students investigate variation in the beta globin gene by identifying base changes that do and do not alter function, and by using several internet-based resources to consider the significance in different environments of the base change associated with sickle cell disease.

Audience: 13-16

Source: National Institutes of Health

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageThe Missing Link
The setting for this case study is a paleontological dig in East Africa, where an undergraduate student has unearthed part of what appears to be an ancestral human skull. Students read the story and then examine a number of primate skulls. They are asked to build a phylogeny based on their observations.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Strasser, M. Elizabeth

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageThe Natural Selection Game
This is a board game that simulates natural selection. It is suitable for an introductory biology class and for more advanced classes where you could go into more detail on important principles such as the role of variation and mutation.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Gendron, Robert

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageThe TimeTree of Life
Download a poster of the entire Tree of Life, calibrated with a timescale.

Audience: 13-16

Source: TimeTree

Resource type: Poster

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

imageTree of Life
This interactive web resource allows you to follow any branch on the tree of life to find out how scientists hypothesize all the species on Earth (plus some extinct lineages) are related to one another.
This resource appears at the Tree of Life website.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Tree of Life

Resource type: Interactive

imageTree thinking basics
Tree thinking, or phylogenetics, is an important way of understanding evolutionary relationships. Reading trees correctly can pose some challenges. This video introduces the basics of three reading and addresses common problems in tree reading.
This resource is available from the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center

Audience: 13-16

Source: National Evolutionary Synthesis Center

Resource type: Video

imageTree thinking challenges
In the this interactive video, college students guide viewers through problems on phylogenetics and address some of the misconceptions that many students have with the subject.
This resource is available from the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center

Audience: 13-16

Source: National Evolutionary Synthesis Center

Resource type: Video

imageUnderstanding evolutionary history: An introduction to tree thinking
This pamphlet with self-quizzes provides students with a self-paced tutorial in tree thinking and corrects many common misconceptions about phylogenetic trees.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Laura Novick, Kefyn Catley, and Emily Schreiber

Resource type: Tutorial

imageUnderstanding evolutionary trees
Many disciplines within biology (and many basic biology texts) have come to depend on evolutionary trees. Get the basics you need to understand and interpret these key diagrams.
This article appears at SpringerLink.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Evolution: Education and Outreach

Resource type: Article

imageUnderstanding Macroevolution Through Evograms
Evograms convey information about how a group of organisms and their particular features evolved. This article explains how to read evograms and delves into the evolutionary history of whales, tetrapods, mammals, birds, and humans.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Article

imageUsing trees to understand plants: The work of Chelsea Specht
This research profile follows scientist Chelsea Specht as she pieces together the evolutionary history of tropical plants and their pollinators--and in the process, tries to figure out how to conserve endangered species.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

imageUsing trees to uproot HIV: The work of Satish Pillai
This research profile follows scientist Satish Pillai as he studies the evolution of HIV within infected individuals. His research uses the tools of phylogenetics to investigate vaccine development and the possibility of curing the disease.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

imageVariability and Selection in Natural Populations of Wood Lice
In this lab, students measure the amount of variation in a natural population of terrestrial wood lice and then determine which traits are subject to selection by predators by performing a simulated predation experiment.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Berkelhamer, Rudi

Resource type: Lab activity

imageVisualizing life on Earth: Data interpretation in evolution
This web-based module leads students through an exploration of the patterns in the diversity of life across planet Earth. Students are scaffolded as they practice data interpretation and scientific reasoning skills.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Online activity or lab

imageWebcast: Fossils, genes, and embryos
In lecture three of a four part series, evolutionary biologist David Kingsley examines the original objections to Darwin's theory and shows how modern evidence supports the theory.
This lecture is available from Howard Hughes' BioInteractive website.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Resource type: Video Lecture

imageWebcast: Selection in action
In lecture two of a four part series, evolutionary biologist David Kingsley discusses how just a few small genetic changes can have a big effect on morphology, using examples from maize, dog breeding, and stickleback fish.
This lecture is available from Howard Hughes' BioInteractive website.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Resource type: Video Lecture

imageWhy Sex is Good
This case study is based on a 2005 journal article that deals with the issue of sexual vs. asexual reproduction and their relative merits—a question that has bedeviled biologists for more than a century. The article serves as the final stage of this case focusing on why sex is useful (at least in some circumstances).

Audience: 13-16

Source: Herreid, Clyde Freeman

Resource type: Classroom activity

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


 

Teachers' lounges 9-12 Undergrad 6-8 3-5 K-2

All-level resources
Guide to Evo 101

Conceptual framework

Teaching resource database

Image library

Dealing with objections to evolution

Correcting misconceptions

Alignment with science standards

Suggest a lesson or resource for Understanding Evolution