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Resource library Teaching materials Evolution 101

Resource library
What is evolution and how does it work?

Sub-topics (containing additional resources):

Evo-Devo , Examples of evolution , Genetics , History of life on Earth , Macroevolution , Microevolution , Natural selection , Speciation 


Evolution 101
This in-depth, multi-part course takes you through evolutionary theory and mechanisms, from definitions to details, natural selection to genetic drift, mutations to punctuated equilibrium.

Evolutionary trees and patterns in the history of life
Scientists use many different lines of evidence to reconstruct the evolutionary trees that show how species are related.
This article is located within Evolution 101.

Mechanisms of evolution
Learn about the basic processes that have shaped life and produced its amazing diversity.
This article is located within Evolution 101.

Evolution at different scales: Micro to macro
Microevolution and macroevolution encompass change at very different scales, but both work through the same basic processes.

Evolution and the fossil record
Evolution is a fundamental concept in modern biology. Review the basics of how evolution works with a special focus on evidence and examples from the fossil record.
This article appears at the American Geological Institute website.

Webcast: Endless forms most beautiful
In lecture one of a four part series, evolutionary biologist Sean Carroll discusses Darwin and his two most important ideas: natural selection and common ancestry.
This lecture is available from Howard Hughes' BioInteractive website.

Learn about the tree of life
This tutorial on phylogenetics explains the basics of tree-thinking and provides many examples from real organisms.
This resource is available from the Peabody Museum of Natural History

Discovering the great tree of life
This short video introduces basic concepts in phylogenetics and provides a model to help understand lineage-splitting.
This resource is available from the Peabody Museum of Natural History

Evo in the news: Coping with climate change
This news brief from May 2009 explores the difference between phenotypic plasticity and evolutionary change in relation to the media's coverage of climate change.

A name by any other tree
Phylogenetics has affected almost every area of biology - even the most basic one: how we classify organisms. Find out how phylogenetic classification works and what its advantages are.
This article appears at SpringerLink.

This website, which was produced to accompany an exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History, describes Darwin's life and how his ideas transformed our understanding of the living world.
This article appears on the American Museum of Natural History website.

Interview: Geerat Vermeij on the Fossil record  Advanced
This interview with MacArthur Fellow and paleobiologist, Geerat Vermeij, covers much ground, including adaptations in the mollusks he studies, evolutionary arms races, punctuated equilibrium, extinctions, macroevolution, and the value of diversity.

A closer look at a classic ring species: The work of Tom Devitt
The Ensatina salamander has been extensively investigated because it is a ring species — a species that demonstrates how geography and the gradual accumulation of genetic differences factor into the process of speciation. Biologist Tom Devitt continues the more than 50 years of Ensatina research by applying new genetic techniques and asking new questions about this classic evolutionary example.

Radiations and extinctions: Biodiversity through the ages
This excerpted chapter from Carl Zimmer’s book, The Tangled Bank, describes the evolutionary processes responsible for large scale patterns in the diversity of life through time. Reprinted with the permission of Roberts and Company Publishers, Inc.
This resource is available from the National Center for Science Education.

Evolution: Applications in human health and populations  Advanced
In a series of six lectures, scientists describe how evolutionary theory makes contributions to the field of human health through studies of the human genome, physiology, lifestyle, and interaction with the environment.
This resource appears at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center website.

Understanding evolutionary trees  Advanced
Many disciplines within biology (and many basic biology texts) have come to depend on evolutionary trees. Get the basics you need to understand and interpret these key diagrams.
This article appears at SpringerLink.

Phylogenetic systematics, a.k.a. evolutionary trees  Advanced
Learn about phylogenetic systematics, the study of the evolutionary relationships among organisms, and how the field is shaping biological research today.

Tree thinking basics
Tree thinking, or phylogenetics, is an important way of understanding evolutionary relationships. Reading trees correctly can pose some challenges. This video introduces the basics of three reading and addresses common problems in tree reading.
This resource is available from the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center

Tree thinking challenges
In the this interactive video, college students guide viewers through problems on phylogenetics and address some of the misconceptions that many students have with the subject.
This resource is available from the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center

Evo in the News: Hybrid sharks aren't "trying" to adapt
This news brief, from February 2012, describes the discovery of hybrid sharks in Australian waters, debunks some common misconceptions regarding the discovery, and examines the possible evolutionary trajectories of these animals.

Evo 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.

Evolución 101
¿Qué es la evolución y cómo funciona? Introducción a la evolución ofrece información detallada y práctica sobre los patrones y los mecanismos de la evolución.

Evo 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...

Sub-topics (containing additional resources):

Evo-Devo , Examples of evolution , Genetics , History of life on Earth , Macroevolution , Microevolution , Natural selection , Speciation