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  • 3D Scan of Tiktaalik Fossil – Humerus

    3D Scan of Tiktaalik Fossil – Humerus

    3D Model

    3D-scans of fossil bones of Tiktaalik, a creature with a mix of features common to fish and tetrapods.

  • 3D Scan of Tiktaalik Fossil – Pelvis

    3D Scan of Tiktaalik Fossil – Pelvis

    3D Model

    3D-scans of fossil bones of Tiktaalik, a creature with a mix of features common to fish and tetrapods.

  • 3D Scan of Tiktaalik Fossil – Pectoral Fin

    3D Scan of Tiktaalik Fossil – Pectoral Fin

    3D Model

    3D-scans of fossil bones of Tiktaalik, a creature with a mix of features common to fish and tetrapods.

  • 3D Scan of Tiktaalik Fossil –  Body

    3D Scan of Tiktaalik Fossil – Body

    3D Model

    3D-scans of fossil bones of Tiktaalik, a creature with a mix of features common to fish and tetrapods.

  • 3D Scan of Tiktaalik Fossil –  Skull

    3D Scan of Tiktaalik Fossil – Skull

    3D Model

    3D-scans of fossil bones of Tiktaalik, a creature with a mix of features common to fish and tetrapods.

  • Understanding Variation

    Understanding Variation

    Activity

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

  • Zebrafish and Skin Color

    Zebrafish and Skin Color

    Activity

    This lesson complements the film The Biology of Skin Color and explores how experimental work in zebrafish led to a better understanding of the role of the gene SLC24A5 in human skin color.

  • Skin Color Interactive Video

    Skin Color Interactive Video

    Interactive Video

    (18 min 58 sec) Embedded quiz modules test students’ understanding as they watch a short film that explores the evidence for the evolution of the variation in skin color among human populations.

  • Origin of Humans with Quiz

    Origin of Humans with Quiz

    Interactive Video

    (19 min 44 sec) Embedded quiz modules test students’ understanding as they watch a short film on the major human fossil finds from Africa  and what they reveal about the history of our evolutionary origins.

  • Origin of Birds With Quiz

    Origin of Birds With Quiz

    Interactive Video

    (18 min 59 sec) Embedded quiz modules test students’ understanding as they watch a short film about the evidence that showed birds descended from dinosaurs.

  • Genetic Origin of Variation in Human Skin Color

    Genetic Origin of Variation in Human Skin Color

    Data Point

    Dr. Rebecca Lamason and colleagues studied the genetic origin of variation in human skin color using a model organism, the zebrafish.

  • Comparative Anatomy of the Domestic Chicken

    Comparative Anatomy of the Domestic Chicken

    Click & Learn

    Trace the evolutionary history of birds by comparing the shapes and structures of certain bones in a chicken to those of some of its extinct and living relatives. Also available in Spanish.

  • Human Skin Color: Evidence for Selection

    Human Skin Color: Evidence for Selection

    Activity

    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.

  • How We Get Our Skin Color Interactive

    How We Get Our Skin Color Interactive

    Interactive Video

    (3 min 32 sec) This interactive animation about the biology of skin color provides stop points at which students can further explore the material through additional text and illustrations, videos, questions, and simple interactive widgets.

  • Film Guide for The Biology of Skin Color

    Film Guide for The Biology of Skin Color

    Film Guide

    The following classroom-ready resources complement The Biology of Skin Color. Featuring anthropologist Dr. Nina Jablonski, the film walks us through the evidence that differences in human skin color are adaptations to varying intensity of UV light. Also available in Spanish.

  • Great Transitions

    Great Transitions

    Collection

    Stunning fossil finds have revealed the fascinating stories of major transitions in the history of life on our planet—from fish that gained the land, to reptiles that took to the air, and primates...

  • Episode 3: Your Inner Monkey

    Episode 3: Your Inner Monkey

    Feature Film

    (54 min 51 sec) Join Neil Shubin as he links our hands, vision, and brains to ancient primate ancestors. PLEASE N​OTE: Due to international distribution restrictions, these programs can only be streamed in the United States and Canada.

  • Episode 2: Your Inner Reptile

    Episode 2: Your Inner Reptile

    Feature Film

    (54 min 41 sec) Join Neil Shubin as he links our hair, teeth and hearing to ancient reptilian ancestors. PLEASE N​OTE: Due to international distribution restrictions, these programs can only be streamed in the United States and Canada.

  • Episode 1: Your Inner Fish

    Episode 1: Your Inner Fish

    Feature Film

    (54 min 41 sec) See how the genetic legacy of a fish can be seen today in our own DNA. PLEASE N​OTE: Due to international distribution restrictions, these programs can only be streamed in the United States and Canada.

  • How We Get Our Skin Color

    How We Get Our Skin Color

    Animation

    (3 min 32 sec) This engaging animation shows how human skin cells produce the pigment melanin, which gives skin its color. 

  • The Biology of Skin Color

    The Biology of Skin Color

    Short Film

    (18 min 58 sec) Penn State University anthropologist Dr. Nina Jablonski walks us through the evidence that the different shades of skin color among human populations arose as adaptations to the intensity of ultraviolet radiation in different parts of the world. Also available in Spanish.

  • Film Guides: The Origin of Humans

    Film Guides: The Origin of Humans

    Film Guide

    The following classroom-ready resources complement Great Transitions: The Origin of Humans, which reveals the history of our evolutionary origins. Also available in Spanish.

  • Great Transitions: The Origin of Birds

    Great Transitions: The Origin of Birds

    Short Film

    (18 min 59 sec) In the second film of the Great Transitions trilogy, paleontologist Julia Clarke takes us on a journey to uncover the evidence that birds descended from dinosaurs. Also available in Spanish.

  • Great Transitions: The Origin of Humans

    Great Transitions: The Origin of Humans

    Short Film

    (19 min 44 sec) Which traits distinguish humans from other primates? When and where did these traits evolve? Analysis of the major fossil finds from Africa, dating back to 4.4 million years ago, provides answers to these questions and reveals the history of our evolutionary origins. Also available in Spanish.

  • Film Guides: The Origin of Tetrapods

    Film Guides: The Origin of Tetrapods

    Film Guide

    The following classroom-ready resources complement Great Transitions: The Origin of Tetrapods, which tells the story of the discovery of Tiktaalik, a creature with features common to fish and four-legged animals, or tetrapods.

  • Great Transitions: The Origin of Tetrapods

    Great Transitions: The Origin of Tetrapods

    Short Film

    (17 min 11 sec) One of the most exciting discoveries in the long history of fossil exploration is Tiktaalik, a creature with a mix of features common to fish and four-legged animals, or tetrapods.

  • 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.

  • Using Genetic Crosses to Analyze a Stickleback Trait

    Using Genetic Crosses to Analyze a Stickleback Trait

    Activity

    A hands-on activity in which students analyze the results of genetic crosses between stickleback fish with different traits.

  • Modeling the Regulatory Switches of the Pitx1 Gene in Stickleback Fish

    Modeling the Regulatory Switches of the Pitx1 Gene in Stickleback Fish

    Activity

    A hands-on activity in which students interpret molecular diagrams and build physical models of eukaryotic gene regulation.

  • Skeletons Reveal Human and Chimpanzee Evolution

    Skeletons Reveal Human and Chimpanzee Evolution

    Click & Learn

    Comparing features of a 4.4-million-year-old fossil skeleton to those of human and chimpanzee skeletons sheds light on our evolutionary history.

  • How Novel Icefish Genes Can Improve Human Health

    How Novel Icefish Genes Can Improve Human Health

    Activity

    A lesson that requires students to read detailed scientific passages and explain how an understanding of specific icefish adaptations might lead to a treatment or cure for human disorders, such as osteoporosis and anemia. 

  • Molecular Genetics of Color Mutations in Rock Pocket Mice

    Molecular Genetics of Color Mutations in Rock Pocket Mice

    Activity

    A lesson that requires students to transcribe and translate portions of the wild-type and mutant rock pocket mouse Mc1r genes and compare sequences to identify the locations and types of mutations responsible for the coat color variation described in the film. Also available in Spanish.

  • Hominid Paleobiology

    Hominid Paleobiology

    Lecture

    (1 hr 33 min 25 sec) The hominid fossil record of the past six million years gives us surprising insights into the path of human evolution.

  • Biodiversity at a Snail's Pace

    Biodiversity at a Snail's Pace

    Lecture

    (58 min 29 sec) Cone snails have evolved many different toxins for different uses. Total molecular biodiversity may number in the millions.

  • Exploring Biodiversity: The Search for New Medicines

    Exploring Biodiversity: The Search for New Medicines

    Lecture

    What medical secrets do venomous snails hold? How can listening in on bacterial conversations help develop new antibiotics? In four presentations, Dr. Bonnie L. Bassler and Dr. Baldomero M. Olivera reveal how a deeper understanding of nature and biodiversity informs their research into new medicines.

  • A Taser causes rigid paralysis

    A Taser causes rigid paralysis

    Clip

    (49 sec) A Taser hyperexcites the nervous system to cause a rigid immobilization of its target.

  • Motor cabal toxins block motor neuron synapses

    Motor cabal toxins block motor neuron synapses

    Animation

    (3 min 28 sec) Multiple cone snail toxins attack different molecules of the nervous system and cause paralysis.

  • Prialt blocks motor synapse in fish

    Prialt blocks motor synapse in fish

    Animation

    (2 min 31 sec) Prialt, a drug derived from cone snail venom, paralyzes fish by blocking calcium channels at a motor synapse.

  • Prialt blocks pain signaling in mice

    Prialt blocks pain signaling in mice

    Animation

    (2 min 58 sec) Prialt does not block the mammalian motor synapse, but blocks the pain pathway in the spinal cord.

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