This lesson will focus on the concept of biological evolution. Students will learn how speciation has occurred over the course of millions of years. In addition, students will learn that speciation can cause closely related species to become highly divergent in form and function. Students will be able to handle certain animals as their adaptations are discussed. A field trip to a herpetarium in a local zoo is included.
1. evolution - change in characteristics of biological populations over successive generations 2. microevolution - small changes that occur from environmental change (seen in 1- a few generations) 3. speciation - evolutionary process by which biological populations evolve to become distinct species 4. natural selection - causes organisms to change and adapt over time 5. organisms most suited to their environment are more likely to survive and reproduce 6. fitness - how effective an organism is at reproducing 7. competition - how an organism affects another organisms fitness negatively 8. vestigial - an anatomical feature or behavior that no longer seems to have a purpose in its current form 9. 4 factors of Evolution a. mutation b. natural selection c. genetic drift d. gene flow