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Resource library Teaching materials Evolution 101

Lesson summary for:
Evo in the news: A species' unwelcome inheritance - extinction risk

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Overview:
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.

Author/Source:
UC Museum of Paleontology

Grade level:
13-16

Time:
30 minutes

Teaching tips:
This article encourages students to reason about scientific data. It includes a set of discussion and extension questions for use in class, as well as a video podcast. It also includes hints about related lessons that might be used in conjunction with this one. Get more tips for using Evo in the News articles in your classroom.

Concepts:
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.

  • During the course of evolution, only a small percentage of species have survived until today.

  • The fossil record provides evidence for evolution.

  • There are similarities and differences among fossils and living organisms.

  • As with other scientific disciplines, evolutionary biology has applications that factor into everyday life, for example in agriculture, biodiversity and conservation biology, and medicine and health.

Teacher background:

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