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Assess students' completed presentation slides based on what points they chose to include on the slide and how they describe similarities and differences between the six pterosaurs. Have students revisit the images of the six pterosaurs before watching the film Flying Monsters 3D. The earlier pterosaurs had long tails and flight membranes, called uropatagia, connecting the tails with the hind legs. The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. Some media assets (videos, photos, audio recordings and PDFs) can be downloaded and used outside the National Geographic website according to the Terms of Service. Find more information about Flying Monsters 3D education outreach and all Flying Monsters 3D educator resources. Coral TriangleThe most diverse ecosystem in the world is the huge Coral Triangle in Southeast Asia. Human Ecosystem"Human ecosystem" is the term scientists use to study the way people interact with their ecosystems.
EcocideThe destruction of entire ecosystems by human beings has been called ecocide, or murder of the environment.
An ecosystem is a geographic area where plants, animals, and other organisms, as well as weather and landscape, work together to form a bubble of life.
Down below, pixelated city blocks resemble the square doodles I draw and fill in mindlessly when I am back at home, sitting on hold and waiting for some customer service agent, the anonymous accented telephone voice who is likely speaking to me from one of these same concrete blocks—here, in India.
Our jet’s descent brings the world back into focus, a lifeless landscape honeycombed with dry fields—shapeless patches of personal property in a land where nothing is very personal at all. India is the Hallelujah Chorus of car horns—an overture of beeps and squawks, twitters and bellows, bawdy bursts, melodic runs, bings, bops, machine-gun fire and great sonic booms that make you hop.
The cacophony of claxons is so overwhelming, the noise becomes aimless—nobody is getting what they want and the horns only complain louder, like the greatest tantrum on Earth—it never stops, only winds down and then starts up again. If this were an office, there would be an all-hands meeting: Guys, we gotta talk about the horns. But in India, there are one billion people here and counting—if such a meeting were ever even possible, the fliers would not have been printed yet due to some sort of hold-up. Hindu temples surprise me, wedged between the square block houses, with sky-blue painted doors, scrawled with ancient designs, hung with colored lights, flower garlands. The colored saris are the rainbow of this country, draped over the women or hung clean and drying from the houses of the very poor, like oversized prayer flags—one size fits all. In the village outside Agra, I am followed by a pack of barefoot children begging for ink pens and chocolate—the legacy of well-meaning yet careless tourists who have doled out gifts to these, the poorest of the poor, the untouchables, the Harijans—children of God. The untouchables are touching me—and one child is giggling, pointing directly at me and shouting, in Hindi, Tum lambe ho!
I am uncomfortable with the pointing, self-conscious of the attention, aware that I am being mocked to some degree.
I demand to know what this means, these three words—I ask and ask until I find someone who speaks English.
I am the long, white tourist visiting a rather undeveloped village on the outskirts of Agra with cameras, bottled water, hand sanitizer and hotel key in my bag. Travel is always a two-way street—if we are viewing others, they are viewing us—and if ever we look at some new city or country or people through the glass of a display case, then surely it is we who are locked up in such a case, being peered at by inquisitive eyes. After 36 short hours, I leave India, jetting away through the haze of smells and noise, returning to the pure blue sky above us all. From the air, India is an immense puzzle, but already, I vow to return, because honestly, I am more puzzled now than ever before. I read ur posts pretty often and would like to suggest that you visit this country and especially south indian states like kerala and northeatern states like nagaland and sikkim and the northern parts like leh, ladakh and manali and you ll be amazed at how diverse our country is. Discuss convergent and divergent evolution.Review the difference between convergence and divergence. Summarize ideas about the relationship between the six pterosaurs.Have partners work together on a computer to develop a presentation slide explaining adaptive radiation using pterosaurs as an example.
Students can refer to the similarities of the six pterosaurs' body structures to illustrate their close evolutionary relationship and the differences in their skull structure to illustrate their divergent evolution and adaptive radiation.
Ask them to consider their own questions that may be answered in the film, such as "Why does Tapejara have such a large head crest?" As students watch the film, have them note different hypotheses for why pterosaurs may have developed differently. This arrangement gave the pterosaurs stability in flight, but it also meant that they couldn’t walk very well. If a media asset is downloadable, a download button appears in the lower right hand corner () of the media viewer.
The Coral Triangle stretches from the Philippines in the north to the Solomon Islands in the east to the islands of Indonesia and Papua in the west. The study of human ecosystems considers geography, ecology, technology, economics, politics, and history. Ecosystems contain biotic or living, parts, as well as abiotic factors, or nonliving parts.
Seaweed can be composed of brown, green, or red algae, as well as "blue-green algae," which is actually bacteria. Some horns sing arpeggios, others curse with the foulest epithets, others are merely testing their lungs on the street—honk, honk, honk!—a reminder that they are still alive. At dusk the sun is pink and one hour later, the moon turns silver like the jingling bangles around the women’s brown ankles.

Technology is but one of the many millions of gods around us, and so is the lack of technology. I have stared at all of India from a bus window and India has stared right back at me, equally puzzled. I am the well-meaning yet careless tourist who finds a plastic kazoo in the bottom of my bag and hands it to the tiniest of boys who immediately becomes a target of the other children. In five minutes, everything has disappeared below and the great democracy of India returns to being a map on the in-flight screen, growing farther away by the second.
On the board, sketch paths coming together (convergence) and one path splitting in two directions (divergence). Have students include at least three key ideas about adaptive radiation and the relationships among the six pterosaurs.
According to the fossil record, these early pterosaurs varied relatively little in their designs: size, teeth, and head crests. If you have questions about how to cite anything on our website in your project or classroom presentation, please visit our FAQ page.
Tiny clouds of human sweat hit me one by one, interspersed with sweet fruit, coal smoke, incense, spice, car fumes and animal warmth. There are the world’s very best cars driving on the world’s worst roads, the fastest computers versus the slowest camel-drawn carts.
The three words are enough to make all the children laugh, and they all begin pointing as well.
I have spent my one day in India busily defining all of them, observing the terrific spectacle of everything around me, forgetting that I am part of the spectacle, too.
They chase him for his present and he runs barefoot to the street, blowing the kazoo—a newfangled honk added to the tireless car horn symphony that is, in fact, India’s unofficial national anthem.
Allow students to use the information in the chart, the image gallery, and notes from the discussion as reference. The Bactrian camel has a thicker coat, is shorter, and has more body fat than the dromedary. Abiotic factors include rocks, temperature, and humidity.Every factor in an ecosystem depends on every other factor, either directly or indirectly. Today, a few herds survive in protected ecosystems such as Yellowstone National Park.In the tropical rain forest ecosystems surrounding the Amazon River in South America, a similar situation is taking place. In the open street, a man urinates on a field of knee-deep garbage, and I follow that smell until the next one comes along—soft orange marigolds on a string, fragrant and divine. No matter the drab backdrop of light brown everything—wait five seconds and another woman will surely pass, wrapped in hot pink or vermillion or light turquoise silk, the hot air swirling her colored clothing like a stage curtain.
Incredible India means wonderfully inconsistent India and the longer I stay, the less it makes sense and the more I love it. Just as species that are not closely related—such as birds, bats, and pterosaurs—can over time develop characteristics such as wings to help them survive, species can also diverge. A change in the temperature of an ecosystem will often affect what plants will grow there, for instance. The Amazon rain forest includes hundreds of ecosystems, including canopies, understories, and forest floors.
A new species of pterosaur can break off from a population, as new features evolve that set species apart from one another. Animals that depend on plants for food and shelter will have to adapt to the changes, move to another ecosystem, or perish.Ecosystems can be very large or very small. These ecosystems support vast food webs.Canopies are ecosystems at the top of the rainforest, where tall, thin trees such as figs grow in search of sunlight. In addition, their wing structure, though it made flight more unstable, also made it more maneuverable. Tide pools, the ponds left by the ocean as the tide goes out, are complete, tiny ecosystems.
Canopy ecosystems also include other plants, called epiphytes, which grow directly on branches.
Then explain that, in this activity, students will explore what happens as part of divergent evolution.
Consequently, the Pterodactyloids were able to be more flexible in their lifestyle choices, and they evolved to fill many more niches than their forebearers could.
Then they will use presentation software to create a summary slide about how divergent evolution relates to pterosaurs.2. Animals such as monkeys live in understory ecosystems, eating fruits from trees as well as smaller animals like beetles. Forest floor ecosystems support a wide variety of flowers, which are fed on by insects like butterflies. Some organisms, such as seaweed, thrive in an aquatic environment, when the tide is in and the pool is full. Butterflies, in turn, provide food for animals such as spiders in forest floor ecosystems.Human activity threatens all these rain forest ecosystems in the Amazon. Other organisms, such as hermit crabs, cannot live underwater and depend on the shallow pools left by low tides.
Accept a variety of ideas and descriptions, and guide students to the simple realization that these animals are both very similar and very different. In this way, the biotic parts of the ecosystem depend on abiotic factors.The whole surface of Earth is a series of connected ecosystems. Countries of the Amazon rain forest, such as Brazil, Venezuela, and Ecuador, are underdeveloped.

Ask students to relate the characteristics of the skulls to each animal's likely food and habitat. Guide students to recognize that different mouths enable access to different foods; note that Tapejara could likely scoop from a stream and Pterodaustro would have had a food filtering ability, while the toothed pterosaurs were likely able to tear at prey or vegetation. Children may be able to attend school, and families are able to afford better health care.However, the destruction of rain forest ecosystems has its costs. This variation in form is the result of environmental selection, where animals have over time adapted to different environmental conditions, including food sources. They're organized very generally, based on the types of plants and animals that live in them. Within each forest, each pond, each reef, or each section of tundra, you'll find many different ecosystems.The biome of the Sahara Desert, for instance, includes a wide variety of ecosystems. Curare, a muscle relaxant, and quinine, used to treat malaria, are just two of these medicines. Determine how closely related the pterosaurs are.Next have students determine how closely these different animals are related, by thinking about whether these animals seem to have evolved from a common ancestor, or whether they are more distantly related. Many scientists worry that destroying the rain forest ecosystem may prevent more medicines from being developed.The rain forest ecosystems also make poor farmland. Have students compare descriptions of the skeletal structure of the shoulders, wings, and tail in the Anatomy column.
Within the Sahara are oasis ecosystems, which have date palm trees, freshwater, and animals such as crocodiles. Unlike the rich soils of the Great Plains, where people destroyed the tallgrass prairie ecosystem, Amazon rain forest soil is thin and has few nutrients. Organisms in these ecosystems, such as snakes or scorpions, must be able to survive in sand dunes for long periods of time. The farmer or agribusiness must move on to the next patch of land, leaving an empty ecosystem behind.Rebounding EcosystemsEcosystems can recover from destruction, however. The Sahara even includes a marine environment, where the Atlantic Ocean creates cool fogs on the Northwest African coast.
The delicate coral reef ecosystems in the South Pacific are at risk due to rising ocean temperatures and decreased salinity. Analyze images from the gallery for common characteristics.Show students the six images in the gallery, and have them look closely at the wings. Shrubs and animals that feed on small trees, such as goats, live in this Sahara ecosystem.Even similar-sounding biomes could have completely different ecosystems. The biome of the Sahara Desert, for instance, is very different from the biome of the Gobi Desert in Mongolia and China. Organisms such as algae, plants such as seagrass, and animals such as fish, snakes, and shrimp disappear.Most coral reef ecosystems will bounce back from collapse.
Consider the differences among the gallery images.Have students discuss with their partners how they might group these pterosaurs. As a result, these Gobi ecosystems have grazing animals such as gazelles and even takhi, an endangered species of wild horse.Even the cold desert ecosystems of the Gobi are distinct from the freezing desert ecosystems of Antarctica.
Guide students to see that all but one of the animals can be placed in one group with fixed shoulder, long palm, and either no tail or a short tail. Algae, plants, and animals also return.Individual people, cultures, and governments are working to preserve ecosystems that are important to them. Only a few mosses grow in this desert ecosystem, supporting only a few birds, such as skuas.Threats to EcosystemsFor thousands of years, people have interacted with ecosystems. The government of Ecuador, for instance, recognizes ecosystem rights in the countrys constitution.
This group, however, has a tremendous variety in skull form, and they lived much later than Dimorphodon from 200 mya, with its loose shoulder, short palm, and long tail. The so-called Rights of Nature says Nature or Pachamama [Earth], where life is reproduced and exists, has the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions and its processes in evolution.
Many Native American tribes of North Americas Great Plains developed a complex lifestyle based on the native plants and animals of plains ecosystems, for instance. Every person, people, community or nationality, will be able to demand the recognitions of rights for nature before the public bodies. Consider the geography of adaptive radiation.Explain that adaptive radiation is a term that describes when many organisms resulting from one earlier ancestor are subjected to different environmental selection as they spread over a broad area. Bison, a large grazing animal native to the Great Plains, became the most important biotic factor in many Plains Indians cultures, such as the Lakota or Kiowa. Ecuador is home not only to rain forest ecosystems, but also river ecosystems and the remarkable ecosystems on the Galapagos Islands. Have students look in the habitat column at the geographic distribution of these pterosaurs.
Ask: What environmental pressures may have resulted in these pterosaurs spreading across several continents? These tribes used buffalo hides for shelter and clothing, buffalo meat for food, and buffalo horn for tools. Point out that because of Pangaea, the position of the continents varied over the time that pterosaurs lived, so consider that distances traveled, though far, were not as far as a present-day globe would represent. The tallgrass prairie of the Great Plains supported bison herds, which tribes followed throughout the year.

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