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ARTICLE

Evolutionary research – advancing our understanding of ...

New technologies can extend our scientific understanding. They can also mean we have to throw out earlier ideas. Prior to the 1950s and the ‘radiocarbon revolution’, archaeology relied on forms ...

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ARTICLE

Biology idea 3: Evolution

Evolution is the process of change in an organism that occurs over a long period of time. The origin of species Charles Darwin published his book The Origin of Species to much furore in 1859 ...

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ARTICLE

Seed dispersal

Plants make seeds that can grow into new plants, but if the seeds just fall to the ground under the parent plant, they might not get enough sun, water or nutrients from the soil. Because plants ...

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ARTICLE

Absolute dating

Geologists often need to know the age of material that they find. They use absolute dating methods, sometimes called numerical dating, to give rocks an actual date, or date range, in number of ...

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Relative dating

Relative dating is used to arrange geological events, and the rocks they leave behind, in a sequence. The method of reading the order is called stratigraphy (layers of rock are called strata) ...

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Earthworm adaptations

Adaptation is an evolutionary process whereby an organism becomes increasingly well suited to living in a particular habitat. Natural selection results in helpful traits becoming more common in a ...

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ARTICLE

Date a dinosaur

Dinosaurs used to live in New Zealand. We know this because their fossils have been found in a few places. The fossils of a number of different dinosaurs were found at the Mangahouanga Stream, in ...

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New Zealand’s unique ecology

New Zealand has a rich and unique range of plants, animals and fungi. The level of distinctive biodiversity is as high as such world-renowned ecosystems as the Galapagos Islands. So how have our ...

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Butterfly defence mechanisms

Butterflies are the exhibitionists of the insect world. For many invertebrates, camouflage is the best defence against predators, so how do brightly coloured butterflies protect themselves? The ...

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The seed-flower life cycle

Humans have many reasons to grow plants. We use them for food, for building materials, for pleasure and for many other purposes. A plant really just has one reason to grow – to reproduce and make ...

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Becoming human – hominins

As humans, we’re curious about ourselves. Where did we come from? How did we evolve? Hominins Like all living things, early humans are classified using the Linnean classification system ...

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ACTIVITY

Matching seeds and fruits

In this activity, students use activity cards to match seeds with the fruits from which they grow. They learn that a seed will produce the same type of plant and seeds. By the end of this ...

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Pollinating kiwifruit

What usually happens when you cut up a piece of fruit to eat or to put in a salad? If it is an apple, a pear, a peach or a plum, you probably cut out the seeds and put them in the compost bin ...

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ARTICLE

Dating the past - introduction

“How old is it?” is one of the first questions you’ll probably ask when you see an interesting rock or fossil. It’s certainly one of the first things that a geologist wants to know. As you’ll ...

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ARTICLE

Our changing ecosystems – timeline

A look at some of the historical changes in New Zealand’s unique ecosystems. 250 million years ago – One landmass and one huge ocean All landmass on Earth is grouped in one super continent – ...

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ARTICLE

Native frogs

Frogs are vertebrates and belong to the class Amphibia. They are the only amphibians naturally occurring in New Zealand. All frogs have delicate, semi-permeable skin that allows them to absorb ...

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ACTIVITY

Fossil correlation

In this activity, students date fossils from one site by matching them to fossils already dated somewhere else. They use real data from Mangahouanga, made famous by paleontologist Joan Wiffen. By ...

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