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Lesson summary for:
Mantis shrimp shoulder their evolutionary baggage and bluff

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

Author/Source:
UC Museum of Paleontology

Grade level:
6-8

Time:
30 minutes

Teaching tips:
This article helps dispel the misconception that natural selection is all-powerful and produces perfectly adapted organisms. Classroom discussion (especially regarding the key questions at the beginning of the article) would enhance student learning on these topics.

Concepts:
Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.

  • An organism's features reflect its evolutionary history.

  • Anatomical similarities of living things reflect common ancestry. (LS4.A)

  • Traits that are advantageous often persist in a population. (LS4.B, LS4.C)

  • There is a fit between the form of a trait and its function, though not always a perfect fit.

Teacher background:

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