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Straight from the Mouths of Horses and Tapirs: Using Fossil Teeth to Clarify How Ancient Environments Have Changed Over Time

by: Larisa DeSantis

Clarifying ancient environments millions of years ago is necessary to better understand how ecosystems change over time, providing insight as to the potential impacts of current global warming. This module engages middle school students in the scientific process, asking them to use tooth measurement to test the null hypothesis that horse and tapir diets have not changed over time. Based on their tooth study, students are then asked to make a new hypothesis regarding the diets of these animals, testing their second hypothesis with dental microwear data. Students utilize multiple learning styles during their paleontology research projects, ultimately making scientific illustrations based on their analysis of the quantitative data.

Details

Type Journal ArticlePub Date 1/1/2009Stock # ss09_032_05_18Volume 032Issue 05

NSTA Press produces classroom-ready activities, hands-on approaches to inquiry, relevant professional development, the latest scientific education news and research, assessment and standards-based instruction.

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