Science - 2019-20

BIO.6 b - Fossil Record

The student will investigate and understand bases for modern classification systems. Key concepts include

b)  fossil record interpretation.

Bloom's Levels:  Analyze; Understand

Adopted: 2010


  • Organisms are diverse, yet share similar characteristics.
  • Living things change over time as a result of natural mutations that occur in their genomes and the process of natural selection, and evidence for this exists within the fossil record.

  • I can identify which dinosaurs were similar to one another.


  • Biological classifications are based on how organisms are related. Organisms are classified into a hierarchy of groups and subgroups based on similarities that reflect their relationships over a period of time.
  • Binomial nomenclature is a standard way of identifying a species with a scientific two-word name. The first word is the genus name and the second the species name.Species is the basic unit of classification. A species is defined as a group of organisms that has the ability to interbreed and produce fertile offspring in nature.
  • A dichotomous key is a classification tool used to identify and organize organisms using defining characteristics.
  • Information about relationships among living organisms and those that inhabited Earth in the past is gained by comparing biochemistry and developmental stages of organisms and by examining and interpreting the fossil record. This information is continually being gathered and used to modify and clarify existing classification systems.
  • Evolutionary relationships can be represented using a branching diagram called a cladogram or phylogenetic tree which are organized by shared, derived characteristics.
  • Similarities among organisms on the structural and metabolic levels are reflected in the large degree of similarity in proteins and nucleic acids of different organisms. Diversity is the product of variations in these molecules.


In order to meet this standard, it is expected that students will

b, e) construct and utilize dichotomous keys to classify groups of objects and organisms.

     interpret a cladogram or phylogenic tree showing evolutionary relationships among organisms.

     investigate flora and fauna in field investigations and apply classification systems.


evolution, theory, fossil, artificial selection, struggle for existence, fitness, adaptation, survival of the fittest, natural selection, descent with modification, common descent, homologous structure, vestigial organ

Updated: Dec 01, 2017