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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.

  • 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.

  • Selection for Tuskless Elephants

    Selection for Tuskless Elephants

    Scientists at Work

    (6 min 39 sec) Working in Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique, Dr. Joyce Poole and colleagues made a striking observation: many female elephants lack tusks.

  • 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.

  • 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

    In this case study, students use real data to propose hypotheses, make predictions, and justify claims with evidence, as an exploration of concepts presented in the short film The Biology of Skin Color.

  • 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.

  • Activity for Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn

    Activity for Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn

    Film Activities

    This activity explores how scientists determined how and where corn was domesticated, as discussed in the short film Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn.

  • Activity for The Biology of Skin Color

    Activity for The Biology of Skin Color

    Film Activities

    This activity explores the evidence that differences in human skin color are adaptations to varying intensity of UV light, as discussed in the short film The Biology of Skin Color.

  • Effects of Natural Selection on Finch Beak Size

    Effects of Natural Selection on Finch Beak Size

    Data Points

    Rosemary and Peter Grant studied the change in beak depths of finches on the island of Daphne Major in the Galápagos Islands after a drought.

  • Schooling Behavior of Stickleback Fish from Different Habitats

    Schooling Behavior of Stickleback Fish from Different Habitats

    Data Points

    A team of scientists studied the schooling behavior of threespine stickleback fish by experimentally testing how individual fish responded to an artificial fish school model.

  • The Biology of Skin Color

    The Biology of Skin Color

    Short Films

    (18 min 58 sec) This film explores the hypothesis that different tones of skin color in humans arose as adaptations to the intensity of ultraviolet radiation in different parts of the world.

  • The Tool-Making Animal

    The Tool-Making Animal

    Scientists at Work

    (5 min 41 sec) Stone tools reveal a critical transition in the lives of our early human ancestors. 

  • Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn

    Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn

    Short Films

    (17 min 51 sec) This film explores the genetic and archaeological evidence that suggest that corn is the result of the domestication of a wild Mexican grass called teosinte.

  • The Lone Anole

    The Lone Anole

    Phenomenal Images

    Students explore a photo of an anole lizard as a phenomenon to explore adaptations and natural selection.

  • Anthony Barnosky and Kaitlin Maguire Measure Mammal Extinctions at the John Day Fossil Beds

    Anthony Barnosky and Kaitlin Maguire Measure Mammal Extinctions at the John Day Fossil Beds

    Scientists at Work

    (9 min 15 sec) Prehistoric extinction rates are calculated from fossil data in a paleodatabase and compared to today’s extinction rate.

  • Beaks As Tools: Selective Advantage in Changing Environments

    Beaks As Tools: Selective Advantage in Changing Environments

    Labs & Demos

    This classroom experiment supports the film The Origin of Species: The Beak of the Finch. Students collect and analyze data to learn why even slight variations in beak size can make the difference between life and death.

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