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Evolution 101

Evolution 101 provides the nuts-and-bolts on the patterns and mechanisms of evolution. Biological evolution, simply put, is descent with modification. This definition encompasses small-scale evolution (changes in gene frequency in a population from one generation to the next) and large-scale evolution (the descent of different species from a common ancestor over many generations). Evolution helps us to understand the history of life. You can explore the following sections:
  • Definition
  • Patterns
  • Mechanisms
  • Speciation
  • Macroevolution
  • Big Issues


Published by University of California Museum of Paleontology with support provided by the National Science Foundation (grant no. 0096613) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute

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Curriculum Information For Resource

Snapshot
Grade Level(s):5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Junior/Community College, University
Curriculum Areas:Science
Themes/Keywords: diversity
Evolution
Speciation
Species


Vocabulary
Speciation, diversity macroevolution, investigations, patterns, genealogy


Essential Question(s)
1. What is evolution and how does it work?

Discussion Question(s)
1. How is evolution defined?
2. What patterns in diversity over time How does evolution work?
3. How does evolution work on a small scale?
4. What is a species and how do new ones evolve?
5. How does evolution work on a large scale?
6. What are the interesting questions about evolution that are currently being investigated?



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