This lesson teaches students about some of the mechanisms whereby one species could become two. I divide speciation events into two major categories: 1. Populations divide and mutations build up over time and 2. Organisms combine in a partnership (symbiosis) and, over a period of time, become one individual. The latter idea, proposed by Lynn Margulis, is still in its infancy so the powerpoint briefly mentions it and nothing more. The former idea gets subdivided into two categories: 1. Allopatric speciation (geographic isolation) and 2. Sympatric speciation (reproductive isolation.) The powerpoint also goes into some detail about methods of reproductive isolation. Last in the powerpoint is a short, very cool PBS video on a “ring species” of salamander in California. Students then split into groups to read an article and answer questions about Rosemary and Peter Grant observing the speciation of Darwin’s finches in the Galapagos.
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