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This news brief from April 2013 describes new research on the origin of American cattle breeds. The story told by the cows' genes crisscrosses the trajectory of human evolutionary history — from wild aurochs that lived alongside Neanderthals, to Christopher Columbus and, ultimately, the American West …
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.
- Present-day species evolved from earlier species; the relatedness of organisms is the result of common ancestry. (LS4.A)
- There is a fit between organisms and their environments, though not always a perfect fit. (LS4.C)
- An organism's features reflect its evolutionary history.
- People selectively breed domesticated plants and animals to produce offspring with preferred characteristics.
- Inherited characteristics affect the likelihood of an organism's survival and reproduction. (LS4.B, LS4.C)
- Scientists can test ideas about events and processes long past, very distant, and not directly observable.
- Our knowledge of the evolution of living things is always being refined as we gather more evidence.
- Our understanding of life through time is based upon multiple lines of evidence.
- Scientists use the similarity of DNA nucleotide sequences to infer the relatedness of taxa. (LS4.A)
- As with other scientific disciplines, evolutionary biology has applications that factor into everyday life.