Exploring Evolution at Lincoln Park Zoo

Sophomores in the Population class investigated what “unites” and “differentiates” different populations through discussions of species classification, morphology, evolution, phylogenetic trees, etc. To bring their learning to life, they visited the Lincoln Park Zoo and met with Steve Ross, Director of Conservation and Science.

In class, we are currently learning about organisms. We have been going over how to make a dichotomous key and how to read one. We are also learning the body functions of some animals such as cats, dogs and we even dissected a fish. Recently we took a trip to the Lincoln park zoo to learn and observe more living organisms. Our host was Stephen Ross who primarily studies Chimpanzees. Talking with Steve, we learned a whole new side of chimpanzees. We learned important things for example how they will never go in their habitat themselves to how some chimpanzees were raised as humans and how they ended up having an identity crisis. 

After our chat with Steve, we had the chance to go look and take pictures of other animals at the zoo. We saw otters, zebras, giraffes, snakes, camels, monkeys, birds, fish, and so on. When we got back from our Field Experience (FE) we had an assignment to make a dichotomous key of five animals that we saw at the zoo. This was a very helpful FE for the Population class.

-Sophomore, AL

Leave a Comment