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Comparing Anatomy and Embryology


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Students will compare anatomy and embryology to look for evolutionary relationships by examining homologous, analogous, and vestigial anatomical structures. Students will learn about comparative anatomy and examine structures similar and different in modern and ancient organisms. Students will compare similarities in pictures of embryos and learn how these structures support the theory of evolution and provide evidence for evolution. ✍

✅This unit on Evolution includes:

  • Informative slide show
  • Strategic notetaking guide
  • Two reading passages
  • Follow-up pages
  • A quiz
  • Answer keys

Teachers Love This Unit on Comparative Anatomy!

Aileen ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Extremely Satisfied

This went nicely with our evolution unit. My students made great connections and it was aligned to standards. Easy to use and not controversial for my conservative community…just the science facts.

Thomas ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Extremely Satisfied

My students loved this unit and especially loved learning about vestigial structures! Haha they had a lively conversation regarding wisdom teeth and who had them and who didn’t. It was funny but they made great connections!

This unit is designed to address the following standards:

NGSS MS-LS4-2.Apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for

 the anatomical similarities and differences among modern organisms and between modern and fossil organisms to infer evolutionary relationships.

NGSS MS-LS4-3. Analyze displays of pictorial data to compare patterns of similarities in the embryological development across multiple species to identify relationships not evident in the fully formed anatomy.

Utah SEEd standard 7.5.3

Construct explanations that describe the patterns of body structure similarities and differences between modern organisms, and between ancient and modern organisms, to infer possible evolutionary relationships. (LS4.A)

Utah SEEd Standard 7.5.4

Analyze data to compare patterns in the embryological development across multiple species to identify similarities and differences not evident in the fully formed anatomy. (LS4.A)

evolution comparing anatomy evolution comparing anatomy

If you are looking for an online (Google) unit on Comparative Anatomy, see this unit Comparative Anatomy.

You may also like this companion piece, Natural Selection.

You can read more about this resource here on my blog!