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Lesson summary for:
Evo in the news: Speciation in real time

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Overview:
We often think of speciation as a slow process—so slow that we can’t really observe it going on around us. This news brief from Febrary 2010 describes two examples which demonstrate that, at least occasionally, important steps toward speciation can be observed in less than 50 years.

Author/Source:
UC Museum of Paleontology

Grade level:
9-12

Time:
30 minutes

Teaching tips:
This article includes a set of discussion and extension questions for use in class, as well as a video podcast. 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.

  • Speciation is the splitting of one ancestral lineage into two or more descendent lineages.

  • Speciation requires reproductive isolation.

  • Occupying new environments can provide new selection pressures and new opportunities, leading to speciation. (LS4.C)

Teacher background:

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