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Found 37 resources for the concept: An organism’s features reflect its evolutionary history

imageUnderstanding Macroevolution Through Evograms
Evograms convey information about how a group of organisms and their particular features evolved. This article explains how to read evograms and delves into the evolutionary history of whales, tetrapods, mammals, birds, and humans.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Article

imageThe Missing Link
The setting for this case study is a paleontological dig in East Africa, where an undergraduate student has unearthed part of what appears to be an ancestral human skull. Students read the story and then examine a number of primate skulls. They are asked to build a phylogeny based on their observations.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Strasser, M. Elizabeth

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageAn antipodal mystery
The discovery of the platypus had the scientific world in an uproar with its mammal-like and bird-like features. How was one to classify the platypus? This case study uses this issue to model the scientific process, with scientists arguing, debating, collecting more evidence, and revising their opinions as new data become available.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Herreid, Clyde Freeman

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageInvestigating Natural Selection
Students experience one mechanism for evolution through a simulation that models the principles of natural selection and helps answer the question: How might biological change have occurred and been reinforced over time?

Audience: 13-16

Source: National Academy of Sciences

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageArtificially Selecting Dogs
Students learn how artificial selection can be used to develop new dog breeds with characteristics that make the dogs capable of performing a desirable task.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Collins, Jennifer

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageHominid Cranium Comparison (The "Skulls" Lab)
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.

Audience: 13-16

Source: ENSI

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageEye Evolution
This worksheet guides students through an interactive online module entitled Why the Eye? on the Understanding Evolution website. Students gain a better understanding of the different types of animal eyes and how natural selection can account for the evolution of a complex organ.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Online activity or lab

imageEvo in the news: One small fossil, one giant step for polar bear evolution
This news brief from April 2010 describes what scientists have learned by extracting DNA from a polar bear fossil more than 100,000 years old. Though the fossil itself was just a fragment of the skeleton—the lower left portion of the jaw, still containing a tooth—the DNA had a lot to say about polar bear evolution.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Tracking SARS back to its source
This news brief, from January of 2006, traces the source of the SARS virus. Using phylogenetics, biologists have come up with a plausible path of transmission which may help us prevent future outbreaks of diseases such as HIV, SARS, and West Nile virus.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: A fish of a different color
This news brief, from February 2006, describes how a mutated zebrafish gene may help us understand human evolution and the genes underlying human skin color. Humans and zebrafish both inherited the same pigmentation gene from their common ancestor.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Evolutionary evidence takes the stand
This news brief, from January of 2007, describes the role of phylogenetic evidence in a Libyan court case. Six medical workers have been convicted of injecting children with HIV-tainted blood - but the evolutionary history of the virus paints a different picture.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Seeing the tree for the twigs
Recent research has revealed that, in at least some ways, chimpanzees have evolved more than humans have. This news brief from May 2007 delves into this finding further and, in the process, debunks common misperceptions of human evolution.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Got lactase?
The ability to digest milk is a recent evolutionary innovation that has spread through some human populations. This news brief from April 2007 describes how evolution has allowed different human populations to take advantage of the nutritional possibilities of dairying and links evolution with the prevalence of lactose tolerance among people of different ethnicities.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Genealogy enthusiasts mine DNA for clues to evolutionary history
This news brief, from November 2007, turns an evolutionary lens on businesses that use DNA for genealogy research and, in the process, illuminates what their genetic tests really track.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: The new shrew that's not
This news brief from March of 2008 describes scientists' discovery of a new mammal species, a giant elephant shrew. Though elephant shrews resemble regular shrews, recent genetic evidence suggests that elephant shrews actually sprang from a much older (and perhaps more charismatic) branch of the tree of life - the one belonging to elephants and their relatives.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Evolution in the fast lane?
Have humans, with all of our technological advances, exempted ourselves from further evolution? Perhaps not. This news brief, from February 2008, examines genetic research which suggests that human evolution may haved actually accelerated in our recent history.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: HIV's not-so-ancient history
First described in 1981, HIV is a distinctly modern disease. But for how long before its discovery did HIV lurk unnoticed in human populations? This news brief from November 2008 describes new research offering insight into when (and how) HIV got its start.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: The evolutionary history of jogging
This news brief from March 2010 describes a new fitness trend: barefoot running. Though it might sound like just another fitness fad, soon to go the way of hula-hoops or jazzercise, this trend has a surprising connection to evolution.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageClassification and Evolution
Students construct an evolutionary tree of imaginary animals (Caminalcules) to illustrate how modern classification schemes attempt to reflect evolutionary history.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Gendron, Robert

Resource type: Lab activity

imageMantis shrimp shoulder their evolutionary baggage and bluff
Like all organisms, mantis shrimp carry baggage from their evolutionary history. Find out how this baggage has coaxed them into a deadly bluffing game.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Article

imageEvolution connection: The Krebs Cycle
This short slide set explains the uniformity of the Krebs cycle across all life using evolutionary theory. Save the slide set to your computer to view the explanation and notes that go along with each slide.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo Connection slide set

imageEvolution connection: Proteins, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids
This short slide set weaves basic information about carbohydrates, proteins, and nucleic acids into one evolutionary story regarding the evolution of lactose tolerance, which relates to students’ everyday lives. Save the slide set to your computer to view the explanation and notes that go along with each slide.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo Connection slide set

imageWhy the eye?
Eyes are something of an icon of evolution. How did such an integrated, multi-part adaptation evolve? While many different animals have complex eyes, untangling their evolutionary history reveals both remarkable diversity and surprising similarity.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Article

imageEvolution connection: Transcription and translation
This short slide set relates the role of RNA in the processes of transcription and translation to RNA’s evolutionary history and the remnants of the RNA world. Save the slide set to your computer to view the explanation and notes that go along with each slide.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo Connection slide set

imageEvolution connection: Photosynthesis 1
This short slide set explains the existence of photorespiration using evolutionary history. Save the slide set to your computer to view the explanation and notes that go along with each slide.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo Connection slide set

imageEvolution connection: Photosynthesis 2
This short slide set explains uniformity and variation in the process of photosynthesis across all life using evolutionary history. Save the slide set to your computer to view the explanation and notes that go along with each slide.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo Connection slide set

imageVariability and Selection in Natural Populations of Wood Lice
In this lab, students measure the amount of variation in a natural population of terrestrial wood lice and then determine which traits are subject to selection by predators by performing a simulated predation experiment.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Berkelhamer, Rudi

Resource type: Lab activity

imageToxin resistance in clams
This case study in the form of a set of PowerPoint slides examines the evolution of toxin resistance in clams.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Evo-Ed

Resource type: Case study

imageThe Making of the Fittest: Natural Selection in Humans
This 14-minute film describes the connection between the infectious parasitic disease malaria and the genetic disease sickle cell anemia - one of the best-understood examples of natural selection in humans.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Resource type: Video

imageHigh altitude adaptations: The work of Emilia Huerta-Sánchez
This research profile follows statistician and population geneticist Emilia Huerta-Sánchez as she studies the adaptations that allow Tibetan highlanders to live 13,000 feet above sea level without developing altitude sickness.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

imageHow boogieing birds evolved: The work of Kim Bostwick
This research profile follows ornithologist Kim Bostwick through the jungles of Ecuador and the halls of museums as she investigates the evolution of an exotic bird's complex mating dance.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

imageEvo in the News: A new look at dinosaur fossils pushes back the evolution of feathered wings
This news brief, from November 2012, describes what a new dinosaur fossil from North America has to tell us about the evolution of feathers.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageSound trees
Students learn how spectrograms represent sound variation and then examine the sounds of owls for traits that might be useful in determining evolutionary relationships. They compare these traits to morphological ones and test their hypotheses.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Resource type: Lab activity

imageEvolution connection: Mitochondria and plastids
This short slide set describes how many characteristics of mitochondria and plastids are explained by their endosymbiotic origins. Save the slide set to your computer to view the explanation and notes that go along with each slide.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo Connection slide set

imageEvolution connection: Ribosomes
This short slide set explains how some antibiotics target the bacterial ribosome and don't attack the ribosomes in our own cells through a quirk of evolutionary history. Save the slide set to your computer to view the explanation and notes that go along with each slide.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo Connection slide set

imageEvo in the news: No more mystery meat
This news brief from April 2013 describes new research on the origin of American cattle breeds. The story told by the cows' genes crisscrosses the trajectory of human evolutionary history — from wild aurochs that lived alongside Neanderthals, to Christopher Columbus and, ultimately, the American West …

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: The legless lizards of LAX
This news brief from October 2013 describes the discovery of four new species of legless lizard. Why don't we just call these animals snakes? Because of their evolutionary history...

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

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