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En Garde! Animal Structures and What They Mean

In most animals, the drive to breed and produce offspring is strong. However, most males live their whole lives without having the chance to breed. ...


A “Deafinite” Cause for Alarm

“Henry” is not the best of patients. He has been admitted into the hospital with bacterial pneumonia, but he soon becomes bored and fru ...


A Deadly Passion

This "clicker case" teaches students about the distinction between proximate and ultimate causes of behavior using the fascinating courtship and ma ...


A Strange Fish Indeed

Through a series of fictionalized diary entries, this case recounts the 1939 discovery by Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer (and identification by J.L.B ...


A Trip to the Beach

This interrupted case study, designed for an introductory biology or environmental science course, introduces students to the complexity of ecosyst ...


An Antipodal Mystery

The discovery of the platypus had the scientific world in an uproar and kept it tantalized for decades. Here was the strangest animal ever seen. Ho ...


Breakfast of Champions

This case study was developed for an upper-level undergraduate evolution course in order to provide an example of natural selection in hominids and ...


Breeding Belyaev's Pets

This clicker case addresses several important concepts related to evolution. First, it explores artificial selection and selective breeding. Charle ...


Building a More Intricate Web

This case study follows two beginning undergraduate researchers on a quest for a summer research project related to food web ecology. While writing ...


Chimpanzee Droppings Lead Scientists to Evolutionary Discovery

This interrupted case study focuses on the research of Dr. Beatrice Hahn, who investigates DNA sequences in chimpanzee droppings in order to explor ...


Conversations with Fireflies

This case explores the aggressive mimicry behavior of the femme fatale firefly - female fireflies in the genus Photuris that mimic the fla ...


Coping with Infection

This interrupted case study introduces two distinct, but not mutually exclusive, strategies for defending against parasites: resistance and toleran ...


Cross-Dressing Salmon

This "clicker case" about female mimicry in spawning salmon was developed for an introductory-level, non-majors biology course to help address one ...


Does the Matrix Matter?

In this case study, students apply principles of landscape ecology, experimental design, and data interpretation to examine alternative explanation ...


Evolution by Natural Selection in Oldfield Mice

The theory of evolution by natural selection is simple, elegant, and profound. Yet, a large number of undergraduate students including biology majo ...


Exaggerated Traits and Breeding Success in Widowbirds

Sexual selection has led to the evolution of interesting traits and behaviors in many animal species. In widowbirds, males undergo a dramatic chang ...


How Do Scallops Swim?

Scallops are bivalve mollusks that live on the seabed. This way of life makes them susceptible to predation and so they have evolved the ability to ...


Hunting the Black Rhino

This case study was developed to teach students the importance of understanding the behavior of wildlife, explore the difficulty in making manageme ...


It Was a Hot August Afternoon...

A farmer becomes concerned after discovering a number of dead animals on his small farm, including some ducks, several deer, and a coyote, all with ...


It’s a Crocodile! No, a Fish! No, a Dolphin!

It is not uncommon to hear creationists argue that evolution is not science because no one saw it happen, or for students to wonder how we can know ...


Man's Best Friend?

In this case, students learn how archaeology operates as an historical science by collecting and analyzing material evidence to make claims about t ...


Mathematics in Conservation

This interrupted case study teaches probability theory and transmission genetics through their application to the conservation of the endangered Fl ...


Mom Always Liked You Best

This interrupted case study is based on a journal article on the parenting behavior of American coots. Working through the case, students develop h ...


Monkey Brains

This case study in comparative physiology explores the connections between physiology, evolution and behavior. Students assume the role of research ...


My Brother's Keeper

In this interrupted case study, students work in teams to interpret behavioral data with respect to evolutionary biology.  Specifically, the c ...


No Bats in the Belfry

This interrupted case study investigates the geographic origin of white-nose syndrome (WNS) in little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus). WNS i ...


Not Necessarily on Purpose

In this “clicker case,” students learn about evolution, speciation, and natural selection as well as interpret phylogenies as they appl ...


One Whale or Two or … ?

This case study focuses on the intersection of defining a scientific species and defining a legal species. The compelling story of Lolita, an orca ...


Peek-a-Bamboo!

This case study was written for an introductory course for biology majors who are first learning about embryonic development. The case is composed ...


Rabbit Calicivirus Disease - Magic Bullet or Pandora's Box?

The characters in this dilemma case, representing the scientific community and government, must make a decision about whether or not to release a v ...


Search for the Missing Sea Otters

Using a progressive disclosure format, this case study teaches students how to apply ecological principles to a real-life ecological problem, namel ...


Sex and the Komodo Dragon

In this clicker case study for a flipped classroom, students familiar with the stages of meiosis work in small groups to determine the predicted ge ...


Si el Norte Fuera el Sur

In this case study, students are given the task of developing a recovery plan to protect a recently discovered population of Central American squir ...


Snakes in a Storm!

In this interrupted case study, students follow “Joseph Summers” as he attempts to do a late-night relocation of a snake exhibit as a r ...


Speciation and the Threespine Stickleback

This case study teaches students about allopatric speciation through an investigation of the benthic and limnetic sticklebacks of Paxton Lake, whic ...


The Case of the Sexually Arrested Orangutans

This case examines the hormonal control of the development and maturation to adulthood and the role of stress hormones in that developmental proces ...


The Coelacanth: An Odd Fish

This "clicker case" is a redesign of a case, also in our collection, by Robert H. Grant titled "A Strange Fish Indeed: The 'Discovery' of a Living ...


The Dangers of Deicing

Loss of species richness is often due to anthropogenic activity. The global decline of amphibians is one such example. This case study examines the ...


The Evolution of Color Vision in Monkeys

This case study examines the evolution color vision in Old World and New World monkeys from multiple biological perspectives. This integrative appr ...


The Fish Kill Mystery

In this case study, students speculate on what may have caused a major fish kill in an estuary in North Carolina. In the process, they explore how ...


The Horseshoe Crab

This case study examines the population dynamics of the horseshoe crab, which is sometimes described as a “living fossil.” Students are ...


The Perilous Plight of the Pika

This interrupted case study addresses several concepts related to climate change and its effect on the American pika. Often called an indicator spe ...


The Riddle of the Red Queen

This case study introduces students to the "Red Queen Hypothesis." The hypothesis states that when two species compete for a limited resource or ex ...


The Waiting Game

In this interrupted case study, students examine the cooperative courtship behavior of long-tailed manakins. Males of the long-tailed form leks, ar ...


Trouble in Paradise

In this case study, students apply principles of evolution they have learned in class to create their own story explaining the evolutionary history ...


What is a Species?

This "clicker case" is modified from Martin Kelly's case study "As the Worm Turns: Speciation and the Apple Maggot Fly," also in our collection. Cl ...


Which Elephant Population Would You Protect?

This case study has students analyze real population and climate data to address a problem in conservation. Many elephant populations exist in Afri ...