The webcasts with Paleobiologist Lucy Chang aired May 30, 2019, as part of the Smithsonian Science How series. Watch a recording in the player above or using the link below. After watching the webcast, take our survey and tell us how we did!
Go behind the scenes at the Smithsonian to meet Dr. Lucy Chang, Paleobiologist at the National Museum of Natural History. Sharing ammonite fossils from the Smithsonian’s collection, Lucy will explain what ammonites are and how scientists use their fossils to understand what they looked like, what they ate, and how they lived. She’ll help students hone their pattern recognition skills by comparing fossil ammonites to related, living animals today like squid and nautilus. Lucy will share why she studies ammonites, how she uses their fossils to discover patterns of extinction and evolution, and what she’s discovered so far.
The webcast supports standards of learning that help students understand how scientists analyze and interpret data from fossils, how the ammonite body plans support survival in the ocean, and how patterns in the fossil record document the existence, diversity, extinction and change of life throughout the history of life on Earth. See the complete list of NGSS Standards alignment.
Use these resources to support pre/post activities:
Companion Worksheet and Answers - Exploring Fossil Ammonites
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
- 3-LS3-1: Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and variation of these traits exists in a group of similar organisms.
- 3-LS4-1: Analyze and interpret data from fossils to provide evidence of the organisms and the environments in which they lived long ago.
- 3-LS4-2: Use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing.
- 3-LS4-3: Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
- 4-LS1-1: Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
- 4-ESS1-1: Identify evidence from patterns in rock formations and fossils in rock layers to support an explanation for changes in a landscape over time.
- MS-LS4-1: Analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout the history of life on Earth under the assumption that natural laws operate today as in the past.
- MS-LS4-2: Apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for the anatomical similarities and differences among modern organisms and between modern and fossil organisms to infer evolutionary relationships.
- MS-ESS1-4: Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence from rock strata for how the geologic time scale is used to organize Earth’s 4.6-billion-year-old history.
- MS-ESS2-2: Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth’s surface at varying time and spatial scales.