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Evo in the News: A new look at dinosaur fossils pushes back the evolution of feathered wings

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Overview:
This news brief, from November 2012, describes what a new dinosaur fossil from North America has to tell us about the evolution of feathers.

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. 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.

  • An organism's features reflect its evolutionary history.

  • The fossil record provides evidence for evolution.

  • Features sometimes acquire new functions through natural selection.

  • The fossil record documents the biodiversity of the past.

  • Scientists use fossils (including sequences of fossils showing gradual change over time) to learn about past life.

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

  • The principle of parsimony suggests that the phylogenetic hypothesis most likely to be true is the one requiring the fewest evolutionary changes.

  • Evolutionary trees can be used to make inferences and predictions.

Teacher background:

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