Not only is evolution happening right now everywhere around us, but adaptive changes can occur in a population with remarkable speed. This speed is essential if you’re a desert mouse living in an environment where a volcanic eruption can reverse selective pressure in nearly an instant. The film features Dr. Michael Nachman, whose work in the field and in the lab has quantified the selective pressure of predators and identified the genes involved in adaptation. In a complete story, from ecosystem to molecules, pocket mice show us how random changes in the genome can take many paths to the same adaptation—a colored coat that hides them from predators.
- 2012 W3 Awards; Silver
- 2012 Davey Awards; Silver
- 2012 Telly Awards; Silver
1.A.1.a,c,d,e; 1.A.2.a,b,c; 1.A.4.b;1.C.3.a,b; 3.C.1.a,b,d; 3.C.2.a; 4.B.1.a; 4.C.2.a,b; 4.C.3.a,b
NGSS (April 2013)
MS.LS2.A, MS.LS2.C, MS.LS3.A, MS.LS3.B, MS.LS4.B, MS.LS4.C HS.LS1.A, HS.LS2.A, HS.LS2.C, HS.LS3.A, HS.LS3.B, HS.LS4.B, HS.LS4.C
IB Biology (2009)
4.1, 5.4, D2
APES: Themes and Topics (2013)
Themes: 1, 3 Topics: II.A, II.C
"I love the furry little 'rock stars' (rock pocket mice) in this film. After showing the 10-minute film, I have students create an infographic, a summary, or discussion board post so that I can assess their understanding of the content. In under 30 minutes, I can elicit students' understanding of the term 'adaptation,' reveal their misconceptions, get them excited, and level the playing field on their basic understanding of evolution. I use this in both my high school and college courses."
– Melissa Csikari (Colonial Forge High School & Germanna Community College, VA)