I have used your videos for the past two years and regret not finding them sooner. Thanks for helping me make science more interesting for the kids!
Shape of Life offers classroom videos depicting the evolution of the animal kingdom on planet earth. Students and educators explore animal adaptation, animations, and behaviors along with the amazing scientists who bring their stories to life. We also offer a rich selection of NGSS materials including lesson plans, readings, illustrations and activities that inspire a deeper dive into the animal phyla. Shape of Life content is FREE to students and educators all over the world.
Shape of Life is Celebrating Women in Science!
Gail Kaaialii, Marine Biologist: A success Story: Echinoderms
Your students will explore the evolution of the phylum Chordata by constructing a “family tree”—a diagram of evolutionary traits and animals, using cards showing Chordate traits. After watching the Chordate Shape of Life video, students revise their diagrams and add information, including examples of modern animals that exhibit the traits.
- Students will create evolutionary family trees.
- Students will understand and discuss key characteristics of chordate species orally and in writing.
- - Students will explain how common ancestry and biological evolution are supported by multiple lines of empirical evidence.
HAVE FUN exploring your family tree.
We were first introduced to Carole through our Tree of Life Poster Contest where she shared her experience using Shape of Life resources in her classroom at Maryvale Prep School. What impressed us most is the way Carole credits her childhood experience in the outdoors to her lifelong love of science. It’s tough getting kids outside with all the ‘insta-info’ on screens. Carole’s approach certainly is encouraging.
The Real Prince of Whales
Meet Jeremy Goldbogen. He tags whales. Yep, he pretty much has one of the coolest jobs of anyone we know.
Through Jeremy’s research we get to cruise the ocean on the back of whales and experience how they eat krill, make those amazing noises and maneuver with surprising agility. With a device the size of a book, Jeremy speaks volumes about the largest animals ever known to live on earth.
Boris is a famous missing link in the evolution of chordates: he’s an early tetrapod (tetrapod means “four-legged”) fossil. Paleontologist Jenny Clack was so excited when she uncovered him that she named him Boris. Boris is a missing link because he represents an animal who may have been the first of its kind to make the transition from life in the sea to life on the land. This invasion of the land by vertebrates was a key moment in evolutionary history, leading to colonization of the land by four-limbed animals.
Guest post by Heidi Cullen, MBARI
The ocean headlines these past few months have been unsettling.
“Feds declare emergency as gray whale deaths reach highest level in nearly 20 years” (May 31, Monterey County Herald)
“‘Blob’ of warm Pacific water is back—could be trouble for marine life and weather” (Sept. 10, San Francisco Chronicle)
A just-released scientific report connects these and a host of other ocean changes with human activities that take place largely on land. ... The report makes clear that to protect the ocean, we must first reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. But we must also reduce ocean stresses caused by overfishing and pollution, so the ocean is healthy enough to weather the changes already underway.
At the annual meeting of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums we had an interesting conversation with the Director of Veterinary Services and Director of Applied Water Science at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The Vet, Dr. Mike Murray, told us he had an unusual medical case, not the usual bird, sea otter or fish, but sick sand dollars. Dr. Mike loves invertebrates (as we do) and wanted to find out what was ailing the animals. Pathology revealed no bacteria or viral infections. So, he turned to Kasie Regnier, in charge of water quality science at the aquarium.
HEY! That was fun seeing you all at NSTA Salt Lake City. Please join us this spring at the National NSTA Conference in Boston April 2 - 5, 2020