California State Polytechnic University-Pomona
Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects
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 significance of this fossil?" This activity is intended to get students thinking like paleontologists as soon as they hit the outcrop. Preservation, taxonomic identification, and using fossils in geologic interpretation are addressed.
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 phylogeny of candy bars in class, and ends with a homework write up in which students create their own phylogeny of any group of objects.