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Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience > Just in Time Teaching > Example JiTT WarmUp Exercises > JiTT - The Legs of Snakes and Whales
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Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) WarmUp Activity: The "Legs" of Snakes and Whales

Laura Guertin, Penn State University Delaware County
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Question:

1) What are the adaptations needed to move from water to land (whether it be an arthropod or a "pioneering amphibian")?

2) Could snakes be linked to marine lizards? What your view and interpretations of the evidence?

3) Let's say I told you that I thought marine mammals evolved independently of land mammals (meaning, both originated on their own in separate environments with no linkages). What evidence would you use to argue that my viewpoint is incorrect (.... or is it really that crazy of an idea)?

Student Responses:

See the Just-in-Time Teaching page on assessment for information and ideas on how to evaluate student responses.

References and Notes:

Articles that students may be assigned to read for this set of questions include (but are not limited to):

Wilford, J.N., "Early Amphibian Fossil Hints of a Trip Ashore Earlier Than Thought." The New York Times Book of Fossils and Evolution, p. 111-114.

Browne, M.W., "Animals Left The Water Earlier Than Thought." The New York Times Book of Fossils and Evolution, p. 115-116.

Wilford, J.N., "Legged Snakes? First Reliable Evidence Is In." The New York Times Book of Fossils and Evolution, p. 134-136.

Wilford, J.N., "How the Whale Lost Its Legs and Returned to the Sea." The New York Times Book of Fossils and Evolution, p. 143-148.

The use of Just-in-Time Teaching is discussed in detail on the JiTT Starting Point page.

Additional information on JiTT is available in the book:


Subject

Biology:Evolution

Resource Type

Activities:Classroom Activity:Just in Time Teaching

Grade Level

College Lower (13-14):Introductory Level

Ready for Use

Ready to Use

Earth System Topics

Biosphere, Evolution

Topics

Biosphere, Time/Earth History