Evolution: Education and Outreach

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 617–621

Homology: Why We Know a Whale Is Not a Fish


  • Andrew J. Petto
    • Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Wisconsin
    • National Center for Science Education
    • National Center for Science Education
Overcoming Obstacles to Evolution Education

DOI: 10.1007/s12052-009-0183-7

Cite this article as:
Petto, A.J. & Mead, L.S. Evo Edu Outreach (2009) 2: 617. doi:10.1007/s12052-009-0183-7


Homology is a fundamental concept in comparative and evolutionary biology and yet often the focus of antievolution challenges. In describing structural similarity that is the result of common ancestry, hypotheses about homology require rigorous testing and form the basis for making predictions about anatomy and physiology as well as the fossil record. Communicating the basics of homology to students is essential for a high school biology curriculum.



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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009