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Students learn about variation, reproductive isolation, natural selection, and adaptation through this version of the bird beak activity.

UC Museum of Paleontology

Grade level:

One class period

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

  • Evolution results from natural selection acting upon variation within a population. (LS4.B)

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

  • Organisms with similar requirements may compete with one another for limited resources.

  • Individual organisms with advantageous traits are more likely to survive and have offspring. (LS4.B, LS4.C)

  • The number of offspring that survive to reproduce successfully is limited by environmental factors. (LS4.B, LS4.C)

  • Environmental changes may provide opportunities that can influence natural selection. (LS4.B, LS4.C)

  • A hallmark of science is exposing ideas to testing. (P3, P4, P6, P7)

  • There is variation within a population. (LS3.B)

Teacher background:

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