Comparative Anatomy of the Domestic Chicken

Are chickens and crocodiles really related? Young scientists compare the bone structure of current domestic chickens to other animals throughout evolution. This helps them understand the branches that separate crocodiles and birds as well as the different types of birds.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Explore the Tree of Life online to see branches
  • If possible, bring in real chicken bones to observe and compare
Classroom Considerations

  • Relies on prior knowledge of evolution and the tree of life

  • Works well in traditional or flipped classes
  • Allows for comparisons of bones using fossils going back around 250 million years

  • None