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Showing 1-34 of 34 Resources
  • Great Transitions Interactive: Human Origins

    Great Transitions Interactive: Human Origins

    Click & Learn

    Examine fossil skeletons and footprints of early humans and compare them to skeletons of modern humans and chimpanzees to discover how different traits have evolved over time.

  • 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.

  • Patterns in the Distribution of Lactase Persistence

    Patterns in the Distribution of Lactase Persistence

    Activities

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

  • Understanding Variation

    Understanding Variation

    Activities

    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

    Activities

    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.

  • Lactase Film with Quiz

    Lactase Film with Quiz

    Interactive Videos

    (14 min 52 sec) Embedded quiz modules test students’ understanding as they watch a short film that explores the evolution of the ability to digest lactose as adults (lactose tolerance) and the genetic changes associated with the trait.

  • Skin Color Film with Quiz

    Skin Color Film with Quiz

    Interactive Videos

    (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 Videos

    (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.

  • Animated Life: Mary Leakey

    Animated Life: Mary Leakey

    Animated Shorts

    (7 min 52 sec) This animated short film recounts the life and work of paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey, including her discovery of the Laetoli footprints.

  • Human Skin Color: Evidence for Selection

    Human Skin Color: Evidence for Selection

    Activities

    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.

  • How We Get Our Skin Color Interactive

    How We Get Our Skin Color Interactive

    Interactive Videos

    (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.

  • Human Feet Are Strange

    Human Feet Are Strange

    Activities

    In this hands-on activity students examine the evidence for the evolution of human bipedality as revealed by a trail of fossil footprints. Also available in Spanish.

  • Film Guide for The Biology of Skin Color

    Film Guide for The Biology of Skin Color

    Film Guides

    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.

  • Lactase Persistence: Evidence for Selection

    Lactase Persistence: Evidence for Selection

    Activities

    This activity provides a case study in human evolution that connects genotype, phenotype, culture, and graphical analysis skills. Also available in Spanish.

  • The Making of the Fittest

    The Making of the Fittest

    Collection

    Each film takes students on an adventure—from the postglacial lakes in southern Alaska to the deserts of the American Southwest, and from the icy Antarctic to the highlands of East Africa, where...

  • Film Guide: Your Inner Fish

    Film Guide: Your Inner Fish

    Film Guides

    This guide complements the three-part television series Your Inner Fish. This series describes the legacy of our ancient animal ancestors and the evidence of their relationship to us.

  • Episode 3: Your Inner Monkey

    Episode 3: Your Inner Monkey

    Feature Films

    (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.

  • The Biology of Skin Color

    The Biology of Skin Color

    Short Films

    (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.

  • 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. 

  • Film Guides: The Origin of Humans

    Film Guides: The Origin of Humans

    Film Guides

    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 Humans

    Great Transitions: The Origin of Humans

    Short Films

    (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.

  • 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.

  • Teacher Guide: Evolution

    Teacher Guide: Evolution

    Resource Guides

    Topics include: natural selection, artificial selection, population genetics, human adaptations and evolution, and phylogenetics.

  • The Making of the Fittest: Got Lactase? The Co-evolution of Genes and Culture

    The Making of the Fittest: Got Lactase? The Co-evolution of Genes and Culture

    Short Films

    (14 min 52 sec) Follow human geneticist Spencer Wells, Director of the Genographic Project of the National Geographic Society, as he tracks down the genetic changes associated with the ability to digest lactose as adults. Also available in Spanish.

  • Using the Scientific Process to Study Human Evolution

    Using the Scientific Process to Study Human Evolution

    Click & Learn

    Paleoanthropology provides an excellent example of the scientific process at work. Also available in Spanish.

  • Regulation of the Lactase Gene

    Regulation of the Lactase Gene

    Click & Learn

    Lactase persistence results from a mutation that changes how transcription factors interact, thereby affecting gene expression.

  • Recent Adaptations in Humans

    Recent Adaptations in Humans

    Click & Learn

    Lactose tolerance, sickle cell anemia, and bitter taste perception are three examples of recently evolved human traits.

  • 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.

  • The Making of the Fittest: Natural Selection in Humans

    The Making of the Fittest: Natural Selection in Humans

    Short Films

    (14 min 3 sec) In some parts of the world, there is an intimate connection between the infectious parasitic disease malaria and the genetic disease sickle cell anemia. Also available in Spanish

  • Human Evolution Within the Tree of Life

    Human Evolution Within the Tree of Life

    Posters

    The poster from the 2011 Holiday Lectures on Science, Bones, Stones and Genes: The Origin of Modern Humans. It provides a unique look at the classic "tree of life" and features a timeline of various hominid fossils and their stone tool usage.

  • Film Guides: Got Lactase? The Co-evolution of Genes and Culture

    Film Guides: Got Lactase? The Co-evolution of Genes and Culture

    Film Guides

    The following classroom-ready resources complement Got Lactase? The Co-evolution of Genes and Culture, which tells the story of the evolution of the ability to digest lactose, a genetic trait that arose in humans within the last 10,000 years in some pastoralist cultures.

  • Film Guides: Natural Selection in Humans

    Film Guides: Natural Selection in Humans

    Film Guides

    The following classroom-ready resources complement The Making of the Fittest: Natural Selection in Humans, which describes the connection between malaria and sickle cell anemia—one of the best-understood examples of natural selection in humans. Also available in Spanish.

  • Film Guides: Natural Selection and Adaptation

    Film Guides: Natural Selection and Adaptation

    Film Guides

    The following classroom-ready resources complement The Making of the Fittest: Natural Selection and Adaptation, which describes the physical and genetic evolutionary changes in rock pocket mouse populations. Also available in Spanish.

  • Using DNA to Trace Human Migration

    Using DNA to Trace Human Migration

    Click & Learn

    All living humans originated from populations of ancestors who migrated out of Africa less than 100,000 years ago. Learn how scientists have used genetic markers to trace the migration routes and origins of modern human populations.

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