Evolution Project

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Check how it will be graded here!

Due Date:
The final project is due in the week after the Evolution Unit test. Friday 5/24.The final project includes final versions of each step compiled together with images of organism, sources etc.

This project is worth 10% of your grade, approximately the same as a unit test. So it is important and you need to put a lot of time, energy and thought into it. We will assess you on your ideas of how natural selection and evolution work, use of appropriate language, and how you apply those ideas to your organism. The evolution of your species has to make sense in terms of what you have been taught about Evolution in class.

Step 1: Animal Profile       Draft due 3/22
- Find pictures of your animal. (include detailed diagrams of adaptations like claws, bone structure, teeth, skull etc.)
- Identify its physical & behavioral adaptations and explain their functions (i.e. how does each adaptation promote the organism’s success in its environment?).
- Examine a biome map of Arda by going to


Select one specific location on Planet Arda where you believe your animal is well adapted to live (i.e. in the appropriate biome). Even if there are many possibilities, choose just one.

Describe the organisms that interact with yours, i.e. competitors, predators, prey, sfood sources. If you’ve chosen a marine or aquatic organism, you might be wise to review the marine biomes described in your textbook. Here is a sample Zebra Profile

Final Animal Profile: Due Friday April 2nd

Step 2: Changes to Environment    Draft Monday due 3/29
- Select where you are going to put your organism on Planet Arda. I suggest you place your organism one continent.(will vary depending on the type of organism).

- Use these maps to help explain the environmental changes (climate, biomes, predators, prey, other species) in your particular location changes over the 10 million year period. Be creative. Changes in what your organism eats and what its it will be very important.
- Determine what impact the changes will have on organisms with which your animal interacts, e.g. predators, prey, competing species etc. Will the above changes cause the population of these other organisms to increase or decrease?
- This step is not about how your organism changes. Here is a sSample Step 2

Step 3: Natural Selection and Evolution of Animal      Draft due 5/3

- Now imagine how the environmental changes you described in step 2 provide new selection pressures that affect your organism. Remember that adaptations can be physical (internal & external) and behavioral, so incorporate a range of ideas. Explain the changes in your organism in terms of natural selection and evolution.
- Develop your timeline in the form of an evolutionary tree that shows the change in time, population sizes, speciation events, extinctions, etc…

- Then write a summary of the evolution of your organism in four parts.

Part 1 Summary: Summarize the overall evolution of your organism referring to your evolutionary tree. E.g.. A bottle neck event occurred in the Equus burchelli population on valimor at around 7,500,000 years ago due to...

Part 2 Speciation event: Explain what caused the speciation event and explain the differences in the two subspecies.

Part 3 New Species A: Explain the adaptations of one your new species. Explain how natural favored this organism and then why it became extinct. (You will need to include images to show the adaptations)

Part 4 New Species B: Explain the adaptations of the other new species. Explain how natural favored this organism and why it is sucesful today. (You will need to include images to show the adaptations)

Here is an example of a Step 3

Step 4: Animal Images and Project Assembly                    Due 5/24
Create/find images of your organism at three different points along the timeline, including the starting point. Assemble final project and presentation containing final versions of all 4 parts.

The timeline is an evolutionary tree that shows the change in time on the vertical axis, extent of change on the horizontal axis, change in population size by the width of the line size, speciation events by splits in the population line, extinction events. Major events can be added to the side of your time line.

Your final project MUST include: Due 4/27

You may present your finished project as a poster, as a power point presentation, or as a web site. You may be asked to present a summary of your project in class.


This project is worth 10% of your semester grade. So a significant amount of time, energy and thought should go into it. We will be looking carefully to see that your ideas make sense in terms of natural selection and that you demonstrate understanding of ideas learned in class. We will also be looking for excellent use of appropriate vocabulary and creativity.

Check how it will be graded here!

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