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  • New Laetoli Footprints and Hominin Body Size

    New Laetoli Footprints and Hominin Body Size

    Data Point

    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.

  • Dating Corn Domestication Using Carbon Isotopes

    Dating Corn Domestication Using Carbon Isotopes

    Data Point

    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.

  • 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.

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

    Film Guide for Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn

    Film Guide

    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.

  • Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn

    Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn

    Short Film

    (17 min 51 sec) Where did corn come from? Genetic and archeological data point to what may seem like an unlikely ancestor: a wild Mexican grass called teosinte. Also available in Spanish.

  • 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.

  • Explore Your Inner Animals

    Explore Your Inner Animals

    Click & Learn

    This interactive explores different anatomical features of the human body and what they reveal about the evolutionary history we share with other organisms, including earlier, long-extinct species.

  • Weighing the Evidence for a Mass Extinction—On Land

    Weighing the Evidence for a Mass Extinction—On Land

    Activity

    A lesson in which students analyze graphs and data on pollen grains and fern spores to form a picture of the living landscape before and after the K-T mass extinction.

  • Weighing the Evidence for a Mass Extinction—In the Ocean

    Weighing the Evidence for a Mass Extinction—In the Ocean

    Activity

    A hands-on activity in which students see first-hand the difference in foraminifera fossils below and above the K-T boundary. Also available in Spanish.

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