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Resource library Teaching materials Evolution 101

Lesson summary for:
Evo in the news: The legless lizards of LAX

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Overview:
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...

Author/Source:
UC Museum of Paleontology

Grade level:
13-16

Time:
20 minutes

Teaching tips:
Use this resource to relate evolutionary concepts to the topics of classification and taxonomy (or get more suggestions for incorporating evolution throughout your biology syllabus). This article includes a set of discussion and extension questions for use in class. 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.

  • An organismís features reflect its evolutionary history.

  • Not all similar traits are homologous; some are the result of convergent evolution.

  • A species is often defined as a group of individuals that actually or potentially interbreed in nature.

  • Classification is based on evolutionary relationships.

Teacher background:

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