Understanding Evolution: your one-stop source for information on evolution
Welcome to Understanding Evolution
Get to know us: take our site tour, find out what's new, or subscribe for updates.
Dive right in: for basic information on how evolution works, start with Evolution 101.

Browse by topic

How evolution works What is evolution and how does it work?
Detailed explanations of the mechanisms of evolution and the history of life on Earth
Includes: Examples of evolution, Genetics, History of life on Earth, Macroevolution, Microevolution, Natural selection, Speciation ...
Relevance of evolution How does evolution impact my life?
The relevance of evolutionary theory to our everyday lives
Includes: Agriculture, Conservation, Medicine ...
Evidence and examples What is the evidence for evolution?
Multiple lines of scientific evidence relating to evolution
Includes: Homology and analogy ...
History of evolutionary thought What is the history of evolutionary theory?
The history of ideas, research, and contributors in the study of evolution

Looking for information on controversies in the public arena relating to evolution? See our frequently-asked questions.

Teaching evolution

Understanding Evolution for teachers

Explore the ultimate evolution resource for K-12 teachers, including:

• lesson plans

• conceptual framework

...and more.

Teachers click here >>

Evo in the news
tigers Tough conservation choices? Ask evolution - December 2008
If your home were on fire, what would you take with you when you fled? The choice could be tough, with childhood toys, photo albums, and important documents all vying for attention. Unfortunately, we face a similarly difficult decision when it comes to conservation. Human activities have triggered the Earth's sixth mass extinction. Nearly 50% of all animal and plant species could disappear within our lifetime. As we race to staunch this rapid loss of biodiversity, we'll need to make choices, but where should we concentrate our efforts?

Read the whole story to see the evolution connection. >>

BONUS: This month's news item includes a video podcast!


David Jablonski How to survive a mass extinction: The work of David Jablonski
David Jablonski researches how patterns of evolution relate to mass extinctions. Why are some species doomed while others survive?
mantis shrimp Mantis shrimp shoulder their evolutionary baggage and bluff
Delve into the fascinating case of the mantis shrimp to see how this undersea predator overcomes evolutionary constraint.

Using trees to understand plants: The work of Chelsea Specht Using trees to understand plants: The work of Chelsea Specht
This research profile examines how the scientist Chelsea Specht studies plant evolution in order to understand the basis of diversity.
Why the eye? Why the eye?
Eyes are clearly incredibly useful, but where did the eye come from? How did so many animals evolve eyes and why do they look so different? This case study answers these questions.

This site was created by the University of California Museum of Paleontology with support provided by the National Science Foundation (grant no. 0096613) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (grant no. 51003439).