Comparative Anatomy of the Domestic Chicken
This interactive module traces the evolutionary history of birds by comparing the bone structures of a chicken to those of other species.
In this Click & Learn, students explore a simplified evolutionary tree of chickens starting from the last common ancestor of birds and crocodiles, which lived about 250 million years ago. Students compare the bones of a chicken to those of its dinosaur relatives at key nodes of the tree, to pinpoint some of the similarities that suggest that birds are avian dinosaurs.
The accompanying “Worksheet” guides students’ exploration of the Click & Learn.
Student Learning Targets
- Explain how shared anatomical features can provide evidence for evolutionary relationships.
- Construct a simple evolutionary tree based on visual observations of anatomical similarities.
archosaur, bird, cladogram, dinosaur, evolutionary tree, paleontology
The resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. No rights are granted to use HHMI’s or BioInteractive’s names or logos independent from this Resource or in any derivative works.
Accessibility Level (WCAG compliance)
HS-LS4-1; SEP2, SEP6
AP Biology (2019)
EVO-1.M, EVO-1.N, EVO-3.B, EVO-3.C; SP1
IB Biology (2016)
AP Environmental Science (2020)
Learning Objectives & Practices: ERT-2.H, SP5
IB Environmental Systems and Societies (2017)
Common Core (2010)
Vision and Change (2009)
CC1, CC3; DP1, DP3