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Online Course for Teachers: Teaching Evolution

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SESSION 3: What Is the Evidence for Evolution?

Explain Part C: Anatomical Evidence

While organisms are quite diverse, we still share many similarities. Think about the anatomical features that are similar in all organisms.

Watch the video segments and investigate the Web sites listed below to gather information on anatomical evidence.


To see how Darwin presented evidence of common anatomical traits, read Chapter 13 of On the Origin of Species at the Online Literature Library Web site.


To learn about homologies and tetrapod evolution, view Evolution Show Two video segment "Fish with Fingers," and read Tetrapod Limbs.

 Image of artists rendition of a pre-historic fish which has finger like appendages.

Fish with Fingers
View in:
QuickTime | RealPlayer


For more information on homologies, look at the University of British Columbia Web site.


To compare anatomical similarities in embryos, watch the Evolution Library video segment "Common Pasts, Different Paths" and read "Comparative Embryology: The Vertebrate Body" (pdf).

 Image of a human baby inside the womb.

Common Pasts,
Different Paths

View in:
QuickTime | Real Player

Now, answer these questions.


What are some key examples that illustrate how anatomical evidence supports the theory of evolution?


What questions remain unanswered using just anatomical evidence?



Facilitator Note 3


Next: Elaborate Part A: Molecular Evidence

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