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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:
9-12

Time:
20 minutes

Teaching tips:
This article includes a set of discussion and extension questions for use in class 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. (LS4.B, LS4.C)

  • Scientists use the similarity of DNA nucleotide sequences to infer the relatedness of taxa. (LS4.A)

  • The number of offspring that survive to reproduce successfully is limited by environmental factors. (LS4.B, LS4.C)

  • Natural selection is dependent on environmental conditions.

  • Environmental changes may provide opportunities that can influence natural selection. (LS4.B, LS4.C)

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

Teacher background:

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