Evolutionary Evidence

Lab (Workbook): Evolutionary Evidence

A powerful lab for introducing students to the evidence that convinces biologists that life on earth evolved. It covers a key piece of evidence for evolutionary theory, focusing on how related species should have nested sets of traits that reflect their evolutionary tree. Students compare traits of evolved species versus traits of independently created species and learn how to quantify the difference. They then use this quantification to predict the order that traits should appear in the fossil record among different species of simulated lizards. Finally, they apply their methods to the real fossil record for a set of 7 extant species.
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Level: Intro
Key Concepts: Common Ancestor; Evidence; Evolution; Fossils; Nested Sets; phylogenetics; theory
Courses: Evolution; Intro Bio: Eco/Evo/Genetics; Intro Bio: Non-majors

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