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Lesson summary for:
Relevance of evolution: Conservation


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

UC Museum of Paleontology

Grade level:

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.

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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