Teaching Evolution Using Lizards and Tetrapods
This playlist can be used to teach several core topics in evolution by exploring examples of lizard species evolution and the effects of mass extinctions on tetrapod evolution. The topics covered include adaptive radiation, convergent evolution, speciation through reproductive isolation, phylogeny, and mass extinctions.
By completing the resources in this playlist, students will be able to:
- Explain how ecomorphs are examples of both adaptive radiation and convergent evolution.
- Compare mitochondrial DNA sequences to construct a phylogenetic tree and determine whether the data support a hypothesis.
- Explain the characteristics of the five major mass extinctions throughout geologic history.
- Make a claim about the gradual sequence of evolutionary change using transitional fossil comparisons as evidence.
- Analyze data to explain how reproductive isolation can lead to speciation.
This playlist can be used in undergraduate biology courses. Implementing this playlist should take about 213 minutes of class time in total, spread out among other discussions and activities.