Lesson summary for:
Island biogeography and evolution: Solving a phylogenetic puzzle using molecular genetics
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Students focus on the evolution of three species of lizards using real data sets – geographical and geological data, then morphology, and finally molecular data – to determine possible phylogenetic explanations.
Two full class periods
- Biological evolution accounts for diversity over long periods of time.
- Traits that confer an advantage may persist in the population and are called adaptations.
- Speciation is the splitting of one ancestral lineage into two or more descendent lineages.
- Occupying new environments can provide new selection pressures and new opportunities, leading to speciation.
- Scientists test their ideas using multiple lines of evidence.
- Scientific knowledge is open to question and revision as we come up with new ideas and discover new evidence.
- Our knowledge of the evolution of living things is always being refined as we gather more evidence.
- Our understanding of life through time is based upon multiple lines of evidence.
- Scientists use the similarity of DNA nucleotide sequences to infer the relatedness of taxa.
- Scientists use anatomical evidence to infer the relatedness of taxa.
- Scientists use the geographic distribution of fossils and living things to learn about the history of life.
- Classification is based on evolutionary relationships.
- Evolutionary trees (i.e., phylogenies or cladograms) are built from multiple lines of evidence.
- Speciation is often the result of geographic isolation.
- Evolutionary trees (i.e., phylogenies or cladograms) portray hypotheses about evolutionary relationships.
- Scientists may explore many different hypotheses to explain their observations.
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