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Lush tropical ecosystems house many times more species than temperate or Arctic regions. This news brief from November 2006 discusses the evolutionary explanation for this diversity trend and reveals why threats to tropical ecosystems may threaten diversity on a global scale.
UC Museum of Paleontology
This article includes a set of discussion and extension questions for use in class. It also includes hints about related lessons that might be used in conjunction with this one. Get more tips for using Evo in the News articles in your classroom.
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)
- Geological change and biological evolution are linked.
- Tectonic plate movement has affected the evolution and distribution of living things. (ESS1.C)
- Background extinctions are a normal occurrence.
- Rates of extinction vary.
- The fossil record provides evidence for evolution.
- The fossil record documents the biodiversity of the past.
- The fossil record documents patterns of extinction and the appearance of new forms.
- A hallmark of science is exposing ideas to testing. (P3, P4, P6, P7)
- Scientists test their ideas using multiple lines of evidence. (P6, NOS2)
- Our knowledge of the evolution of living things is always being refined as we gather more evidence.
- Scientists use fossils (including sequences of fossils showing gradual change over time) to learn about past life.
- Scientists may explore many different hypotheses to explain their observations. (P7)