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Science / Year 10 / Science Understanding / Biological sciences

View on Australian Curriculum website Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority
Curriculum content descriptions

The theory of evolution by natural selection explains the diversity of living things and is supported by a range of scientific evidence (ACSSU185)

Elaborations
  • outlining processes involved in natural selection including variation, isolation and selection
  • describing biodiversity as a function of evolution
  • investigating changes caused by natural selection in a particular population as a result of a specified selection pressure such as artificial selection in breeding for desired characteristics
  • relating genetic characteristics to survival and reproductive rates
  • evaluating and interpreting evidence for evolution, including the fossil record, chemical and anatomical similarities, and geographical distribution of species
ScOT terms

Evolution,  Biodiversity

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Lured by fossils

Dinosaur fossils capture the imagination of all kinds of people, leading some to a lifetime of research and theorising. Find out about the devotion of two families whose examination of Australia's fossil record has contributed to understanding the geology and evolution of life here.

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Unlocking the key to why chillies are hot

Have you ever eaten hot chilli and wondered why your mouth feels like it's on fire? Watch this clip to find out all about the science of chillies, including what makes them hot, why they are hot and why they cause so much pain when we eat them.

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Footprints in ash

This 7 minute video segment of Catalyst is an excellent introduction to Australian megafauna through the interpretation of fossil evidence. Comparison of extant species can be made with the extinct relatives.

Online

New plants from old?

This is a unit of work for teachers that uses plant breeding to explain the basics of genetics. Particular concepts covered include: the principles of dominant and recessive genes; plant breeding using these principles; the scientist Gregor Mendel, who first recognised the principles; and the intellectual property (IP) ...

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Ancient DNA

This 9 minute video segment from Catalyst explains the role of Australian Centre for Ancient DNA.It is an internationally recognised research centre for the study of minute traces of preserved genetic material - species studied date from a million years ago to more modern day mysteries... from mammoths to the Tassie devil, ...

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Missing links

This lengthy and detailed video segment from Catalyst examines some of the key transitional fossils between species, the so called 'missing links'. Also included is an interesting story of a missing link that was discovered as a result of a hoax. This program includes extracts from Darwin's diaries in Australia.

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Evolution and heredity: student guide

This is a student guide that takes an in-depth look at evolution and heredity. It begins and ends with students arguing their stances on contentious topics concerning evolution and genetics. The chapters on evolution provide the evidence for evolution and show how species chance. The section of heredity introduces the history ...

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Past changes, future lessons

Earth has experienced periods of dramatic climate change in the past, with the Eocene epoch a period of significant climate fluctuations. Watch this clip to find out how plants and animals were affected by changes to climate in the past, and how knowing about this may help us in the future.

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Ancient DNA

What questions might be answered by the DNA of ancient fossilised remains? What mysteries of the past could be unlocked? Watch this clip and learn more about some fascinating genetic research taking place right here in Australia.

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Saving the Mountain Pygmy-possum

Discover the tiny Mountain Pygmy-possum and find out what scientists are doing to try to save it from extinction. Learn about the possum and why it is endangered, and watch some research being conducted out in the field and in a laboratory. The clip includes footage of this rare and endangered native Australian animal in the wild.

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Caving for fossils

Imagine the enthusiasm of Australian paleontologists when they heard about the discovery of three caves in the middle of the Nullarbor Plain. Watch this clip to find out just what was discovered in the caves and why it is so significant.

Interactive

Charles Darwin - The Australian Connection

This is a multilayered website about Charles Darwin and his important scientific expedition aboard the HMS Begale that included a visit to Australia. The website has interactive sections on Darwin’s journey, understanding weather, using longitude, evolution timeline, and coral reefs. The home page has a series of short ...

Interactive

Natural selection

This is an interactive resource in which students explore natural selection by controlling an environment and causing mutations in rabbits. Students can select vary environments, selection pressures, mutations and associated genetics, and then observe the populations change. This interactive resource is supported by tips ...

Interactive

Laptop wrap: Talking Evolution

A page to explore the theory of evolution and the work of Charles Darwin that features video interviews with the scientist Michael Shermer.

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Treetop kangaroos

This ABC In Depth feature article includes everything you wanted or needed to know about tree kangaroos. This article describes their reproduction, classification, adaptations and issues relating to their conservation.

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Pedigree Dogs

This 12 minute video segment from Catalyst demonstrates how scientific knowledge can improve the well-being of our domestic pets and change public opinion. This show exemplifies the benefits of the application of our understanding of genetics and evolution.

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Species on the move

This ABC In Depth feature article presents arguments about moving vulnerable species to cooler climates in advance of climate change is a controversial strategy, and whether it could be the best way of ensuring their survival.

Audio

Conserving seeds of agricultural crops

This radio interview discusses how Global Crop Diversity Trust is trying to conserve the biodiversity of the world's agricultural crops. A network of seed banks is being developed, together with a backup in a mountain in Norway. Just 10 or 12 crops dominate human nutrition. And there's turnover in varieties as crops are ...

Interactive

Science Talk 2007: Tim Entwistle

An interview and tour of the Royal Botanic Gardens of Sydney and its herbarium with Dr Tim Entwistle, a plant scientist and the NSW Government Botanist. Tim talks to a pre-service teacher from Macquarie University about his love of plants, in particular freshwater algae. In the herbarium we find out why it is so important ...

Online

Animal Health: the science of healthy animals

This study guide considers the science behind breeding, genetics, health and animal welfare in the cattle and sheep industries - keeping animals free of disease and parasites, improving biodiversity and protecting against feral animals. A range of articles and student activities explores how farmers and scientists are working ...