Wait, what does T Rex have to do with marine biology? Indirectly lots. By studying patterns in animals we can see relationships and how species have changed over time. Most of you are aware that mammals have hair/fur, give birth to live young, are warm-blooded and breastfeed their offspring. When did those characteristics develop?
Most of us know that we are more genetically similar to our siblings. Our parents are close and as we move further away in our family tree, the genetic differences increase. This also works with species. Animals that are more closely related share more genetic patterns. This is one reason the COVID vaccines MOSTLY work with the various mutations…although too simplistic, a COVID virus is a COVID virus and the treatment for one works for the other. But as it mutates more and more, the differences become larger and eventually the vaccine doesn’t work.
All species mutate and evolve over time. This is normal. Evolution is just a way to say that genetics change over time through making copies and by mixing genetics through reproduction which can speed up the change. It’s not something we see in a generation, but over thousands of generations. How many COVID generations have we experienced in the past year?…literally hundreds and viruses evolve much faster than most species. As Dr. Fauci said, you can’t have mutation without replication and if we control the spread (and therefore replication) of COVID we will decrease the chances of mutation. By comparison, human generations are long as so we don’t see changes that take thousands of generations and 10’s of thousands of years. How many generations ago was the US created…average human generation is ~20 years divided by 225 years equals ~11 generations since George Washington was President.
This exercise looks at Tyrannosaurus Rex as a way to introduce you to how scientists study this. One tool is the study of fossils. As you work through the exercise, use the information provided to answer the questions. Each piece of evidence helps us find answers but it doesn’t mean we have all the answers. That’s the cool thing about science that most people forget…it’s about asking questions and then finding evidence to support or disprove. Our personal beliefs in this don’t matter…what does the evidence show us.
Download and complete the document below. Use the webpage HERE (Links to an external site.) to discover the answers and explore the idea of what did T-rex taste like. Submit through dropbox the attached worksheet.