I produced this K-12 lesson plan based on my dissertation research, originally distributed in North Carolina through the SciREN network. I have hosted it here as SciREN transitions their hosting. The lesson plan uses on digitized lemur teeth hosted on Morphosource: https://www.morphosource.org/projects/00000C598
Students will examine digital models of teeth from 10 lemur species. They will form hypotheses as to the diets and evolutionary relationships of these lemurs from an analysis of their dental morphology. They will then compare their hypotheses to information on the dietary ecology of wild lemurs and to a phylogenetic tree derived from genetic information. They will be evaluated on their ability to articulate whether and how their hypotheses differ from this external information, drawing on what they have learned about the interpretation of phylogenetic trees and the interacting impacts of dietary adaptation and shared evolutionary history on tooth shape. An optional final activity will have students form hypotheses about the dietary adaptations and relationships of extinct lemurs and evaluate these through an investigation of the primary scientific literature.
PDF of plan: