Lizard Evolution Virtual Lab
This interactive, modular lab explores the evolution of the anole lizards in the Caribbean through data collection and analysis.
The Caribbean is home to about 150 species of anole lizards. In this lab, students investigate how so many species of anoles evolved. The lab includes four modules that cover different concepts in evolutionary biology, including adaptation, convergent evolution, phylogenetic analysis, reproductive isolation, and speciation. In each module, students engage in key science practices, including taking measurements to collect data, constructing and interpreting graphs, and performing statistical analyses.
The lab contains an interactive lab space, an informational notebook, and embedded quiz questions. It also includes supplementary resources, such as an “Educators” tab with key concepts, learning objectives for each module, and detailed suggestions for incorporating the lab in class.
The accompanying worksheet provides structure and guidance as students perform the tutorials, experiments, and quizzes in the lab.
Student Learning Targets
- Collect and analyze data to quantify phenotypic diversity among populations.
- Describe how DNA sequence analysis can provide information about evolutionary relationships among species.
- Explain how similarities or differences in traits can evolve as adaptations to similar or different environmental conditions.
- Explain the biological definition of a species and how new species can arise through reproductive isolation.
- Perform statistical calculations, including calculations for the mean, standard deviation, standard error of the mean (SEM), and the 95% confidence interval.
adaptation, convergent evolution, dewlap, ecomorph, evolutionary tree, graph, niche, reproductive isolation, species, statistics
HS-LS2-2, HS-LS3-3, HS-LS4-1, HS-LS4-2, HS-LS4-3, HS-LS4-4; SEP2, SEP4, SEP6
EVO-1.C, EVO-1.D, EVO-1.E, EVO-1.G, EVO-1.M, EVO-1.O, EVO-3.A, EVO-3.B, EVO-3.C, EVO-3.E, EVO-3.F; SP3, SP4, SP6
5.1, 5.2, 5.4, C.1
ELA.RST.9–12.7, ELA.RST.9–12.9, ELA.WHST.9–12.1
Math.S-ID.3; MP2, MP6
CC1, CC5; DP1, DP3