Fossil Whales and Whale Evolution
National Middle School Science Standards
paleontology, fossil record, evolution, extinction, natural selection, 3D digitization
- Evolution of marine mammals
- Interpreting ecosystem changes through fossils
- How plate tectonics shape the fossil record
- 3D Digitization as a scientific tool
- Technology used by paleontologists
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
The Fossil Whale and Whale Evolution teaching resources support students in meeting the following middle school NGSS Performance Expectations.
MS-LS4 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
- 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-LS4-4 Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals' probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.
MS-LS4-6 Use mathematical representations to support explanations of how natural selection may lead to increases and decreases of specific traits in populations over time
MS-ESS2 Earth's Systems
MS-ESS2-3 Analyze and interpret data on the distribution of fossils and rocks, continental shapes, and seafloor structures to provide evidence of the past plate motions.