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Processes by which organisms are changed over time

Evolution is the process by which organisms change over time. Mutations produce genetic variation in populations, and the environment interacts with this variation to select those individuals best adapted to their surroundings. The best-adapted individuals leave behind more offspring than less well-adapted individuals. Given enough time, one species may evolve into many others.

Images and animations are courtesy of the National Human Genome Research Institute's Talking Glossary (

Materials for Evolution


Understanding Evolution

Description: Information and animations for understanding genetic variation

Understanding Genetics

Description: A short interactive activity on gene conservation



Description: Introduction to evolution with links for finding further detailed information

Evolution Education - Understanding and Teaching the Science of Evolution

Description: Information on evolution and related topics

How Did We Get Here?

Description: A history on evolution and discovery

The Common Genetic Code

Description: Information and a video on evolution and gene conservation

The New Genetics - Life's Genetic Tree

Description: Information from a science education booklet that covers evolutionary biology, SNPs, model organisms, circadian rhythms, bioinformatics, and gene sequencing


Do You Want To Be an Evolutionary Biologist

Description: An interactive trivia game testing your knowledge of evolutionary biology

Evolution in Action

Description: A game on natural selection and evolution

Interactive Tutorials

Evolution of Tungara Frog Mating Calls

Description: An interactive tutorial on the mating calls of Physalaemus frogs, including how the calls have evolved over time and how genetic information has been used to create an evolutionary tree

Variation, Selection, & Time

Description: Videos, interactive tutorials, and articles on natural selection and genetic variation

Labs & Experiments

Exploring Mutant Organisms

Description: An evolution and genetic diversity virtual laboratory experiment

Stickleback Evolution Virtual Lab

Description: A virtual lab teaching skills of data collection and analysis to study evolutionary processes

Teacher Resources

Classroom Activities: Gene Switches (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Teaching materials on evolution and genetic variation with a classroom activity to model a gene switch

Evolution and Medicine (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Lesson plans on how evolution informs human health, biomedical problems, and disease treatment

Mapping Change Over Time (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Collect information about the organisms alive at different times since the Earth formed. Discuss reasons for extinctions. Discuss advantages of change

Poster: Fossil Evidence and Evolution

Description: A printable poster for your classroom. Students are challenged to place seven types of fossils into the proper geological era.

Visualizing Gene-Expression Patterns

Description: A slide show with video clips illustrating how scientists detect when a gene is being expressed in tissues


Genetic Switches

Description: A video explaining how genetic switches enable old genes to be used in new ways

The Making of the Fittest: Evolving Switches, Evolving Bodies

Description: A short film on how stickleback fish have adapted to new environments