This interactive investigation delves into the amazing world of the arthropods and examines their success and their evolutionary constraints.
UC Museum of Paleontology
3-4 class periods
This resource includes a teacher's guide and student assessments. Animations and cartoons help maintain student interest in this investigation. Take home messages can be emphasized in classroom discussion. Older or advanced students can extend this learning experience by taking the "side trips" embedded in this investigation.
Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.
- Biological evolution accounts for diversity over long periods of time. (LS4.A, LS4.D)
- Life forms of the past were in some ways very different from living forms of today, but in other ways very similar. (LS4.A)
- Present-day species evolved from earlier species; the relatedness of organisms is the result of common ancestry. (LS4.A)
- Features sometimes acquire new functions through natural selection.
- An organism’s features reflect its evolutionary history.
- The fossil record provides evidence for evolution.
- The fossil record documents the biodiversity of the past.
- There are similarities and differences among fossils and living organisms.
- Similarities among existing organisms provide evidence for evolution. (LS4.A)
- Anatomical similarities of living things reflect common ancestry. (LS4.A)
- Traits that confer an advantage may persist in the population and are called adaptations. (LS4.B, LS4.C)
- Scientists use anatomical evidence 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.
- Classification is based on evolutionary relationships.
- There is a fit between the form of a trait and its function, though not always a perfect fit.