Students describe, measure and compare cranial casts from contemporary apes, modern humans, and fossil hominids to discover some of the similarities and differences between these forms and to see the pattern leading to modern humans.
One to two class periods.
Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.
- An organism’s features reflect its evolutionary history.
- The fossil record contains organisms with transitional features.
- Similarities among existing organisms provide evidence for evolution. (LS4.A)
- Anatomical similarities of living things reflect common ancestry. (LS4.A)
- A hallmark of science is exposing ideas to testing. (P3, P4, P6, P7)
- Scientists can test ideas about events and processes long past, very distant, and not directly observable.
- Scientists use the similarity of DNA nucleotide sequences to infer the relatedness of taxa. (LS4.A)
- Scientists use fossils (including sequences of fossils showing gradual change over time) to learn about past life.