Infer the degree of relatedness of two species, given diagrams of anatomical features of the two species (e.g., chicken wing, whale flipper, human hand, bee leg).
In prior years, students learned that differences in inherited characteristics might help organisms survive and reproduce. In grades 6-8 students learn how the traits of organisms are passed on through the transfer of genetic information during reproduction and how inherited variations can become adaptations to a changing environment. Sexual reproduction produces variations because genes are inherited from two parents. Variations can be either physical or behavioral, and some have adaptive value in a changing environment. In the theory of biological evolution the processes of inheritance, variation, and adaptation explain both the diversity and unity of all life.
Evidence for evolution includes similarities among anatomical and cell structures, and patterns of development make it possible to infer degree of relatedness among organisms.