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Evo in the news: Where did all of Madagascar's species come from?


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Recently, political unrest in Madagascar has threatened to set back the island's expanding conservation efforts, and criminals have taken advantage of the instability, looting protected forests for rare wood. This news story from October 2009 turns back the clock to consider the biogeographic processes that made Madagascar into a biodiversity hotspot in the first place.

UC Museum of Paleontology

Grade level:

30 minutes

Teaching tips:
This article includes a set of discussion and extension questions for use in class, as well as 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.

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

  • Present-day species evolved from earlier species; the relatedness of organisms is the result of common ancestry.

  • Geological change and biological evolution are linked.

  • The patterns of life’s diversity through time provide evidence of evolution.

  • The fossil record provides evidence for evolution.

  • Similarities among existing organisms (including morphological, developmental, and molecular similarities) reflect common ancestry and provide evidence for evolution.

  • The geographic distribution of species often reflects how geologic change has influenced lineage splitting.

  • Speciation is the splitting of one ancestral lineage into two or more descendent lineages.

  • Scientists may explore many different hypotheses to explain their observations.

  • Our understanding of life through time is based upon multiple lines of evidence.

Teacher background:

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