Skip to Content

Peek-a-Bamboo!

Embryonic Development and Toxins


Author(s)

Jasmine D. Edgren
Department of Biology
North Carolina Wesleyan College
Erica F. Kosal
Department of Biology
North Carolina State University
efkosal@ncsu.edu

Abstract

This case study was written for an introductory course for biology majors who are first learning about embryonic development. The case is composed of several parts and involves a storyline about a team of researchers who find frogs and eggs in bamboo plants during a field study. Students consider what these observations mean, learn basics about the stages of animal embryonic development, and make connections to phylogeny and natural selection. Students then apply their understanding of animal embryonic stage development to the chemical atrazine in the environment by examining data from several experiments. As a concluding activity students write a letter to an agency or newspaper of their choosing stating their opinion surrounding the use of atrazine in the environment. The case proceeds in a progressive disclosure format and involves a combination of class discussion, small group work, and homework. Because the case focuses on very basic animal embryonic development, it would also be a great start to a developmental biology course or an embryology course.


Objectives

  • Describe the basic stages of animal embryonic development.
  • Outline the basic pathways by which one stage of animal embryonic development might move into the following stage of development.
  • Explain the concepts of natural selection, selective pressures, as well as primitive and derived traits.
  • Evaluate graphs and data to understand embryonic development in a real situation in nature.
  • Critically think through phylogenetic comparisons of different species or different groups of animals and how their embryonic development might be the same or different from one another.

Keywords

embryonic development; phylogeny; atrazine; frogs; bamboo; cleavage; cladogram; blastula; organogenesis; Xenopus laevis

Topical Areas

Ethics, Regulatory issues, Scientific argumentation

Educational Level

High school, Undergraduate lower division

Format

PDF

Type / Methods

Directed, Discussion, Interrupted

Language

English

Subject Headings

Biology (General)  |   Evolutionary Biology  |   Environmental Science  |   Zoology  |   Developmental Biology  |  


Date Posted

1/9/2018

Teaching Notes

Case teaching notes are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.

Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.

Answer Key

Answer keys for the cases in our collection are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.

Comments