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Biodiversity and Evolution (Age 14 to 16)

Produced by ARKive, these materials encourage students to gain an understanding of biodiversity, evolution and Darwin’s theory of natural selection. By investigating biodiversity and the process of evolution students learn how traits beneficial for survival are selected for and genetically passed on to successive generations. Students learn how the shape and structure of the beaks of Darwin’s finches affect the type of food that they are able to eat. They see how birds with beaks that are better adapted to the food available in a particular habitat have a better rate of survival. In a practical activity, students are given different implements to use as beaks. They must use these ‘beaks’ to obtain a variety of different types of ‘food’. Students will see which beaks are best adapted for different types of food and how this can drive survival or extinction. The materials include teacher guidance, a presentation, information sheets and student activity sheets.

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