Relate degree of similarity in anatomical features to the classification of contemporary organisms.
Develop an understanding that plants and animals have observable parts and characteristics that help them survive and flourish in their environments. Understand that fossils provide evidence that life forms have changed over time and were influenced by changes in environmental conditions. Understand that life forms either change (evolve) over time or risk extinction due to environmental changes and describe how scientists identify the relatedness of various organisms based on similarities in anatomical features.
Similarities among organisms are found in anatomical features, which can be used to infer the degree of relatedness among organisms. In classifying organisms, biologists consider details of internal and external structures to be more important than behavior or general appearance.