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Dinosaurs of the Gobi

Classroom Activity

To practice some skills scientists use in cladistics.

Materials for each team
  • copy of "Which Came First?" student handout (PDF or HTML)
  1. Encourage students to discuss the ways in which scientists used fossil evidence to suggest hereditary relationships among animals. Copy and distribute the "Which Came First?" student handout to students working in small groups.

  2. After conducting the activity, discuss how the study comparing birds and dinosaurs relates to the procedure they have just completed.

Activity Answer

The Nodnols with the fewest specialized traits should come first in the evolutionary cycle. These simpler forms evolve into more complex forms. The more complex the Nodnol (the more features it has), the later it should appear in the evolutionary cycle. Students can also predict "links" between different types of Nodnols by tracing a particular trait through a series of generations.

Teacher's Guide
Dinosaurs of the Gobi

Video is not required for this activity