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Question Set: Evidence of Common Ancestry and Diversity
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts


  1. The latest scientific evidence shows that cetaceans share common evolutionary ancestry with sheep, deer, and hippopotamuses. Is this research finding surprising to you? Why?
  2. Convergent evolution
    1. Use your own words to define the term convergence in the context of evolution.
    2. What are some examples of convergent evolution in marine mammals?
    3. What are some examples of convergent evolution in other animal groups?
  3. Does the term marine mammal provide any information about the group’s evolutionary history? Explain your answer in detail.
  4. Describe the evolutionary relationship between mammals and the following animal groups:
    1. Sea urchins and sea stars (phylum Echinodermata)
    2. Fish
    3. Reptiles
Exploring Our Fluid Earth, a product of the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG), College of Education. University of Hawaii, 2011. This document may be freely reproduced and distributed for non-profit educational purposes.