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Lesson summary for:
Evo in the News: Evolutionary history in a tiny package

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Overview:
This news brief, from March 2012, describes the discovery four new species — all miniature chameleons — and explores the concept of island dwarfism.

Author/Source:
UC Museum of Paleontology

Grade level:
13-16

Time:
20 minutes

Teaching tips:
This article includes a set of discussion and extension questions for use in class, advanced discussion questions for undergraduates, and a video podcast. 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.

Concepts:
Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.

  • Inherited characteristics affect the likelihood of an organism's survival and reproduction.

  • The number of offspring that survive to reproduce successfully is limited by environmental factors.

  • A species is often defined as a group of individuals that actually or potentially interbreed in nature.

  • Scientists use multiple lines of evidence (including morphological, developmental, and molecular evidence) to infer the relatedness of taxa.

  • Evolutionary trees (i.e., phylogenies or cladograms) portray hypotheses about evolutionary relationships.

Teacher background:

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