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Evolution in Hawaii

by Steve Olson
Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2004. 56 pages.

Intended as a supplement to Teaching about Evolution and the Nature of Science, Evolution in Hawaii focuses on the Hawaiian islands as laboratories of evolution in the wild. Included is a speciation exercise in which, as the preface describes it, "Using real genetic data from 18 species of Drosophila flies in Hawaii, students draw evolutionary trees depicting the relationships of the species and investigate the link between speciation and the ages of the Hawaiian islands. By letting students explore the mechanisms involved in the origin of species, the teaching exercise demonstrates how descent from a common ancestor can produce organisms with widely varying characteristics."