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Paleontology Teaching Activities


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Devonian Transformation part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
Students use the web to examine the biologic, geologic, atmospheric, and climatologically changes that occur with the evolution of land plants. This write up is a summary of web-based readings which the students ...

Create a Cladogram part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
Create a cladogram using nails,screws, and bolts. Teaches students not familar with paleontology about cladistics using items most students have seen before.

Bioturbation Exercise part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
Students are given data for three unidentified hypothetical environments and asked to determine the relative effects of mixed layer thickness, sediment accumulation rate, and bioturbation rate based on a simple ...

Field collection and community analysis project part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
The class will take field trips to different fossil localities in Missouri, where students will collect and identify the fossils they find. They will perform a community analysis, using a statistics program. The ...

An Exploratory Activity in Marine Diversity Analysis part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
This activity introduces students to the Sepkoski database of fossil invertebrates through guided use of online access to the compendium. The activity calls for data analysis and display as well as student response ...

How do we recognize and use fossils in outcrop? part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
Students find fossil hunting rewarding and fun. However, it is important that field trips to fossil localities go beyond mere hunting ("Is this a fossil?") and lead students to ask "What is the ...

Correlation part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
Rocks from different regions can be correlated by fossils, by rock type, and by absolute dates. This exercise is meant to illustrate to students that many different parts of a rock record can be correlated, but do ...

Describing Fossils part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
Make a line drawing of a brachiopod from a published description. Formally describe a brachiopod specimen. Identify specimens from descriptions written by other students.

Ontogeny-Anisometric Growth part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
Randomly select growth rates for different parts of a trilobite skeleton, and follow the animal through two molt stages to see how morphology can change with ontogeny.

Paper dissection part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
Students breakdown an article from a popular magazine or scientific journal, separating evidence and observations from interpretations. Follow up discussion focuses on the strength of the evidence.

Ontogeny part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
This activity allows even the youngest of learners to understand what the concept of ontogeny is, relative to humans and also applied to learning about dinosaurs.

What Can We Learn From Fossils part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
To learn how paleontologist use fossils and rocks to learn about extinct organisms and paleoenvironments. Students use photographs to infer information about a living and an extinct organism. This allows students ...

In-class PowerPoint Mini-reports part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
Students research and prepare short reports on paleontologic topics of interest for PowerPoint presentation in class. Develops online, brief literature research, and oral presentation skills while enriching overall ...

In-class Exercise: Sources of Variation in Populations part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
Students identify sources of morphological variation (genetic, ontogenetic, sexual, and ecophenotypic differences) among the individuals of populations for three different species, one of which is colonial.

How do cladistics work? Generating phylogenetic trees using everyday objects. part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
This lab activity is intended to introduce students to concepts of homology and evolutionary characters, and to help them understand how cladistic analyses are performed. The activity begins with generating a ...

Functional Morphology: Philosophy and Methodology part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
This is short thought exercise used to introduce the subject of functional morphology. Students are asked to use their intuition to generate hypotheses of functional morphology. Through this students recognize the ...

Paleobiology Database Activity for Historical Geology part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
This laboratory exercise uses the Paleobiology Database to examine the relationships between continental position, sea-level and distribution of life through time.

Paleoecology: An Evolutionary Arms Race part of Activities
In this activity, students divide into groups of 4-5, fine-tune a hypothesis relating to escalation, collect data to test this hypothesis using mollusks from local Yorktown deposits (Pliocene), analyze these data, ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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A basic trilobite morphometric exercise part of Activities
A lab exercise and follow-up classroom activity in which students measure some trilobite specimens, evaluate the statistical significance of differences documented in data acquired for two different populations, ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Relative Geologic Time and the Geologic Time Scale part of Activities
Group simulation of the development of the geologic time scale illustrating concepts of correlation and relative time. Extremely effective for teaching the significance of the geologic time scale.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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