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In the 1980's, paleontologist Stan Wood made a profound fossil discovery that has dramatically changed our understanding of how sharks first appeared on Earth. In an old creek bed outside of Edinburgh, Scotland, Stan found a small fossil of a fish that he later determined to be the oldest fossil of a prehistoric shark inexistence. Modern sharks are considered to be one of the top apex predators in the world ocean through a combination of speed, stealth and amazing sensory capabilities. However, learning about their history has been a challenge...until now.
In this Creature Feature on Prehistoric Sharks you will learn about this ancient group of organisms that first appeared long before dinosaurs ruled on land. Our exploration takes us back millions of years into the early primeval ocean where we observe the evolution of fish already in progress. Students will practice their note taking and research skills while learning about evolutionary adaptations and the role of the shark in balancing the oceanic ecosystem. This lesson plan packet is written for middle and high school students in Earth, Environmental, Marine Science and Biology classes for grades 6-10. The packet contains a video assessment worksheet, prehistoric timeline, critical thinking essay, key terms and vocabulary word bank, three drawing activity sheets and an answer key. This packet is an excellent prelude for our lesson plan on Sharkskin Evolution. Don't miss it!