Believe it or not, we actually have was of finding this answer despite the fact the Tyrannosaurus Rex has been extinct for over 65 million years. We can determine a T-Rex features, including taste, using similar features (which we now know are called homologous structures). shared with animals the T-Rex is closely related to.
Recall that yesterday we learned that the more features you have in common, the higher the probability that you share a common ancestor/DNA (the exception would be convergent evolution where two species become increasingly similar despite the fact the originated from different ancestors). So what we can do is plot relatedness, based on characteristics, on a graphic called a cladogram, like the one shown here.
So Today, that’s exactly what we’ll be doing, using the link at the top of this post, you’ll follow the steps to learn how cladograms are created, organized, and what the different branches of it mean. By the time you are through, you will know what it tastes like to bite into a big fat dino-burger!
I’ll be out for a professional meeting today. So in my place, you get to watch ME on Youtube! You lucky ducks. Today’s topic is causes of evolutionary changes in species and types of evolution caused by natural selection.
This info is SO IMPORTANT because it helps us to start to make connections between ideas and provide support for Darwin’s theory. Remember our group test is going to focus on concepts and this section is full of them. So take good notes, write good questions, and have productive conversations with your tables mates (tates).
Have a safe and Happy St. Patricks Day!
Sorry I can’t be there today. But I’ve got two great activities for you while I’m gone.
First, do the Darwin “Scenarios” activity with the people at your table.
Then, in our previous class we played a game using Darwin’s theory of Natural selection to see if we could help a fictional species last for a million years. There were environmental factors that influenced change, and ways of adding variation to a population.
Now we can take what we have learned and actually apply it to a real evolution simulation. We obviously cannot make evolution happen in a lab, but we can simulate it using Darwin’s theory. Click the link below (iPad users must be in the Puffin browser, not Safari) to be taken to the simulation. Read the directions, follow the procedure I have provided, collect your data, and graph your results.
Watch how small changes in populations can have big impacts. You can also change settings to see how these animals would fair when their food source behaves differently.
Since evolution cannot occur before our eyes in a class period, today we’ll be ‘simulating’ evolution with a game called “Who Wants to Live a Million Years?”. There are directions and questions you must answer when you play. Those can be found using this link. Click the image or one of the links below to be taken to the game. (*iPad users: You must download and use the Puffin web browser to run these simulations)
Who Wants to Live a Million Years
Link 1 – Olo Games
Choose variations in a population to try to survive for a million years. Watch out for environmental changes and mutations!