Science KS1/KS2: How have animal skeletons adapted?

How have animal skeletons adapted over thousands of years of evolution? In this short film for primary schools Martin Hughes-Games looks at the skeletons of animals and humans and explains how and why they have changed.

Martin joins a team of young science enthusiasts to look at four limbed animals’ skeletons and learn how they are adapted for different functions.

They also compare the structure of a dolphin’s flipper to a human arm to explain the similarities in structure.

Charles Darwin used observations like these to develop his theory that we have a common ancestor.

This short film is from the BBC series, Evolutionwatch.

Teacher Notes

This short film could be played before a school visit to a zoo or wildlife park.

You could ask your pupils to look at x-rays of animal skeletons and identify the function of the limb, then guess which animal it belongs to.

As part of a classroom activity, you could draw around one pupil to produce a body outline, then draw in the bones for the limbs.

Curriculum Notes

This short film will be relevant for teaching primary science, particularly on the topics of animals and evolution.

More from Evolutionwatch:

Why do animals and plants have camouflage?
What is selective breeding?
Different types of leaves
How animals have adapted to become successful predators
Timeline of life on Earth