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  • Developing an Explanation for Tuskless Elephants

    Developing an Explanation for Tuskless Elephants

    Lessons

    In this activity, students use scientific evidence and reasoning to construct an explanation of and develop an argument for tusklessness in elephant populations.

  • Mate Choice in Spiders

    Mate Choice in Spiders

    Data Points

    Scientists investigated how males choose their mates in a species of sexually cannibalistic spiders.

  • Analyzing Data on Tuskless Elephants

    Analyzing Data on Tuskless Elephants

    Lessons

    In this activity, students analyze data to investigate tusklessness in elephant populations.

  • Developing an Explanation for Mouse Fur Color

    Developing an Explanation for Mouse Fur Color

    Lessons

    Students collect and analyze evidence for each of the major conditions for evolution by natural selection to develop an explanation for how populations change over time. Also available in Spanish.

  • Pelvic Evolution in Sticklebacks

    Pelvic Evolution in Sticklebacks

    Data Points

    Scientists used SNP genotyping in populations of freshwater stickleback fish to determine the genetic mutations responsible for the impaired development of pelvises and spines.

  • New Laetoli Footprints and Hominin Body Size

    New Laetoli Footprints and Hominin Body Size

    Data Points

    Scientists were excavating a site in Laetoli, Tanzania when they uncovered two new sets of hominin tracks located about 150 meters south of the tracks found by Mary Leakey in the 1970’s. They estimated the heights of the two individuals using the size and shape of the footprints.

  • Origins of Antibiotic Resistance

    Origins of Antibiotic Resistance

    Data Points

    Scientists collected bacteria from locations that had never been exposed to humans or modern antibiotics to determine if antibiotic resistance is newly evolved since the introduction of antibiotics or has evolved independently.

  • Patterns in the Distribution of Lactase Persistence

    Patterns in the Distribution of Lactase Persistence

    Card Activities

    Students explore the geographic distribution of lactase persistence around the world by analyzing real data collected by scientists.

  • Mimicry in a Diverse Community of Arthropods

    Mimicry in a Diverse Community of Arthropods

    Data Points

    Researchers exposed arthropod mimics that use a golden patch to warn of unpalatability to predators with different prey preferences to determine how effective their warnings were.

  • Dating Corn Domestication Using Carbon Isotopes

    Dating Corn Domestication Using Carbon Isotopes

    Data Points

    To study the change in diet as human populations changed lifestyles from hunter-gatherers to agriculturalists, scientists measured carbon isotopes in the collagen tissues of human skeletons from North America.

  • Understanding Variation

    Understanding Variation

    Lessons

    This lesson complements the film The Biology of Skin Color and discusses variation in human skin color and polygenic inheritance. Also available in Spanish.

  • Thermoregulation in Dinosaurs

    Thermoregulation in Dinosaurs

    Data Points

    Grady and colleagues compared dinosaur fossil evidence with evidence from living animal species to shed more light on the type of thermoregulation that dinosaurs used—ectothermy, endothermy, or mesothermy.

  • Selective Breeding in Maize

    Selective Breeding in Maize

    Data Points

    Researchers performed the longest-running, controlled artificial selection experiment to study whether they could increase the protein concentration of maize (corn) by selective breeding.

  • Origin of a Gene Mutation Causing Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease

    Origin of a Gene Mutation Causing Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease

    Data Points

    A team of scientists built a pedigree of a large extended family in Antioquia, Colombia, that has a high prevalence of early-onset familial Alzheimer’s disease due to a mutation in the PSEN1 gene. Worksheets also available in Spanish.

  • Moth Mimicry: Using Ultrasound to Avoid Bats

    Moth Mimicry: Using Ultrasound to Avoid Bats

    Scientists at Work

    (10 min 24 sec) This video follows scientists as they uncover the ways in which moth species in Gorongosa National Park use ultrasound to avoid being eaten by bats.

  • Amylase Copy Number and Diet

    Amylase Copy Number and Diet

    Data Points

    A team of scientists investigated whether there is a correlation between the number of AMY1 gene copies and the type of diet (high-starch or low-starch) of a population.

  • Human Skin Color: Evidence for Selection

    Human Skin Color: Evidence for Selection

    Case Studies

    This case study is based on the short film The Biology of Skin Color. Students use real data to propose hypotheses, make predictions, and justify claims with evidence. Also available in Spanish.

  • The Origin of Flight: What Use Is Half a Wing?

    The Origin of Flight: What Use Is Half a Wing?

    Scientists at Work

    (8 min 16 sec) Biologist Ken Dial's study of how young birds use their developing wings sheds light on the evolution of flight in birds.

  • Natural Selection and the Evolution of Darwin's Finches

    Natural Selection and the Evolution of Darwin's Finches

    Card Activities

    In this activity, students develop arguments for the adaptation and natural selection of Darwin’s finches. Students use two key NGSS science and engineering practices: engaging in argument from evidence using mathematical and computational thinking, and analyzing and interpreting data.

  • Film Guide for Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn

    Film Guide for Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn

    Film Guides

    The following classroom-ready resources complement the film Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn, which tells the story of how geneticists and archaeologists have come together to determine how and where corn was domesticated nearly 9,000 years ago. Also available in Spanish.

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