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Science: Evolution

Looking For An Animal?

Also browse the books in the Library in the 590 section.  

Browse ARKIVE.

Animal Information

Encyclopedia of Life


Search for your animal here. Scroll down your animal's results page to identify the part on evolution. 

Other possible searches:  

   'evolution' '___your animal___'

   'adaptations' '___your animal___' 

   'fossil' '___your animal___' 

Please email Mr McCullough or Ms Cross for the password. 

A-Z Animals 

Tree of Life: Animal Classification

Animals (BBC)


Australian Fauna and Australian Flora

Animal Kingdom Chart

Wild Animals of Africa

What is the taxonomy of your animal? (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order Family, Genus, Species)

Animal Adaptation Ideas


Encyclopedia of Life: What is a bird?
Contains detail on habitat, features, behaviour and evolution from dinosaurs. 


Encyclopedia of Life: What is a Reptile?


Encyclopedia of Life: Amphibians


The Society for Marine Mammology - Facts Sheets on Mammals

Information on Prehistoric Animals

The Australian Museum - Extinct Australian Mammals 
Click on the link to expand the list. 


Encyclopedia of Life: What is a crustacean? 

Continental Drift

Ice Age 3: Continental Drift Trailer

What information is scientifically inaccurate
in this movie trailer?



Continental Drift (Greatest Discoveries in Earth Science series) 2:20 min.
Select the second video – not the one that plays automatically. Historical background and understanding of ‘continental drift’.


Scientific Explanation

National Geographic: Continental Drift (1:30)
An educational explanation of continental drift.



Video Animation of Continental Drift (1:20)
A silent animation of the movement of the continents and also a prediction for the next 250 million years.

Natural Selection


Natural Selection 2:08 (Very good)
Make sure the Natural Selection one is playing, not the other first one.


How Natural Selection Works

How does evolution really work?
This might be a bit too technical? Please check.


Example of Natural Selection/Case Study

Natural Selection (10:35 min)
An in-depth look at the Pocket Mouse as an example of adaptation and natural selection. Some good points are made about Natural Selection towards the end.


Evolution & Isolation

Strange Islands (2011): Pacific Islands. 49 mins. (Located in Library Catalogue - VTV)

Looks at the effect that isolation has on the evolution of animals. Summary: Flightless parrots, burrowing bats, giant skinks and kangaroos in trees. On the isolated islands of the South Pacific, the wildlife has evolved in extraordinary ways. But island living can carry a high price, for, when new species arrive, all hell breaks loose. And there lies a puzzle; why do animals perfectly adapted to island life simply give up the ghost? The answer is revealed by the remarkable stories of some unlikely animals that survived on tiny islands off the coast of New Zealand. And the human history of the region is further evidence that, however idyllic it may appear, life on a South Pacific island may never be very far from catastrophe.



Charles Darwin Game:




After studying evolution, can you answer:
Which Came First? The Chicken or The Egg?


The Wonders of Life (3.41min)

Diversity of Life on Earth (6.16 min)

Prehistorical Time Periods

History of Life on Earth (BBC)
Scroll down to find timelines and information about what existed during the time periods.

National Geographic Prehistory Timeline

Geological Time Scale (PDF)
Brief Summary of each time period.

Further Information about Time Periods 

Ice Ages

Melbourne Museum: Timeline

Plant Evolution



Australia Through Time

Tracing Back Your Animal into the Past

Search Terms to Use in Google: 
Fill in the blank with your animal's name.

evolutionary history of ______________         E.g. evolutionary history of giraffes

prehistoric ___________                                   E.g. prehistoric giraffes

natural history ______________                       E.g. natural history giraffes

common ancestor of ______________            E.g. common ancestor of giraffes

When you find an example of your prehistoric animal, answer the following questions:

1. How long ago did your prehistoric animal live? What was the time period and the era called?
Use the Geological Timeline Scale, or see below for more charts.

2. How is the prehistoric version of your animal different from the current form your animal takes? E.g. size? shapes?, etc. 

3. What did the environment look like then? What was the habitat like? What threats were there to your prehistoric animal?

4. Can you discover a connection between these animals and their environment? How do these features help the prehistoric animal adapt to the prehistoric environment? 

Different ways to represent the Geographical Time Scale:


Evidence for Evolution

Lines of Evidence: The Science of Evolution


Task: Find at least TWO different types of evidence for the evolution of your animal. 

  • Fossil Evidence
  • Homologies 
  • Distribution in time and space
  • Evidence by example

Thinking a little deeper about evolution...

The Hidden Beauty of Pollination: After talking about the importance of bees and pollination Louie shows some time-lapse footage that is breath-taking.

The Story of Life in Photographs: National Geographic Photographer Frans Lanting presents The LIFE Project, a poetic collection of photographs that tell the story of our planet, from its eruptive beginnings to its present diversity.

My Wish: The Encyclopedia of Life
E.O. Wilson (Harvard University) talks at length about his life, however, at 14:00 mins into his talk, he wonderfully outlines the importance of diversity and preserving nature. As a side note, Wilson's wish came true and this is the online encyclopedia we have listed at the top of the LibGuides page. 

Facts about Human Evolution: A very fast and comprehensive verview of human evolution by Hank Green.