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Resource library Teaching materials Evolution 101

Lesson summary for:
Relevance of evolution: Conservation

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Overview:
Explore just a few of the many cases in which evolutionary theory helps us form conservation strategies.

Author/Source:
UC Museum of Paleontology

Grade level:
9-12

Time:
30-40 minutes

Teaching tips:
This article is one of a set of three (agriculture, conservation, and medicine) that can be used to teach about the relevance of evolution. This article exemplifies many different evolutionary concepts and would be well-supported by materials focusing on each of these concepts in particular. It touches on some fairly advanced topics towards the end.

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

  • People selectively breed domesticated plants and animals to produce offspring with preferred characteristics.

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

  • Inherited characteristics affect the likelihood of an organism's survival and reproduction. (LS4.B, LS4.C)

  • Depending on environmental conditions, inherited characteristics may be advantageous, neutral, or detrimental.

  • The amount of genetic variation within a population may affect the likelihood of survival of the population; the less the available diversity, the less likely the population will be able to survive environmental change.

  • Natural selection acts on phenotype as an expression of genotype.

  • Classification is based on evolutionary relationships.

  • As with other scientific disciplines, evolutionary biology has applications that factor into everyday life.

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

Teacher background:

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