Evolution is the basis for both the unity of life and the biodiversity of organisms (living and extinct). Organisms pass on genetic information from one generation to another.
Version for ages 12 to 15
All organisms evolved from a common ancestor. Through mutations of DNA, new traits can appear in organisms. The organisms that are best adapted to their environment survive and pass on their traits to their descendants.
Version for ages 9 to 12
Organisms change over generations and develop traits and skills that help them survive. All the genetic information of an organism is stored in the DNA, which is found in the nucleus of each cell. The DNA is responsible for passing genetic information from one generation to another (inheritance).
Breaking down of the Evolution and Biodiversity Big Idea of Science
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Natural selection and Darwinian theory
Organisms that are best adapted to their environment survive and leave a larger number of offspring than those less adapted. Traits that allow organisms to survive are preserved through the mechanism of natural selection.
All organisms evolved from a single ancestor. There is a large variability between organisms, which is a result of mutations that occur in the DNA. The best adapted organisms for a specific environment are selected through natural selection.