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How does evolution result in similarities and differences?

Earthword, mealworm,and cricket

In this hands-on, minds-on activity, students analyze the similarities and differences between bat and squirrel skeletons and between bat and insect wings.

Students learn about the two ways that evolution produces similarities: (1) inheritance from shared evolutionary ancestors (homologous characteristics) and (2) independent evolution of similar characteristics to accomplish the same function (analogous characteristics).

In the laboratory investigation, students observe the external anatomy and locomotion of earthworms, mealworms, and crickets. Students use these observations and the concepts they have learned to figure out which two of these animals are more closely related evolutionarily. (NGSS)

Download Student Handout: PDF format or Word format

Download Teacher Preparation Notes: PDF format or Word format


iwaldron's picture

2024 revision

The Student Handout and Teacher Preparation Notes have both been revised and clarified.


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