M u s e u m  C r e a t e d  L e s s o n

L’Arctique ancien

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Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Ontario

Renseignez-vous sur un Arctique préhistorique
Dans le cadre de cette leçon, les élèves examineront des fossils. Cette démarche leur permettra de mieux comprendre les effets de l’environnement sur les changements évolutifs des êtres vivants

Cadre et materiel :

- Cette leçon doit couvrir 1 période de classe (niveau 11 et 12).
- Ordinateurs avec accès à Internet.
- Un cahier pour écrire observations et réflexions.
A Prehistoric Arctic
Canadian Museum of Nature
© 2013, Canadian Museum of Nature. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object: The Ancient Arctic
The Continental Drift
Canadian Museum of Nature
© 2013, Canadian Museum of Nature. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object: The Ancient Arctic
The Devonian Period
A map of the world showing the location of the Earth's continents as being closer together and near the equator.
The land masses that now make up the Arctic were not always at the top of the planet. During the Devonian period (around 400 million years ago), the Arctic was actually much closer to the equator than present day.

Canadian Museum of Nature




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Learning Object: The Ancient Arctic
The Cretaceous Period
A map of the world showing the continents shifting away from one another and the equator.
During the Cretaceous Period (a period that began around 145 million years ago), the landmass that is now the Arctic began moving further north, although the climate was still very temperate.

Canadian Museum of Nature




© 2013, Canadian Museum of Nature. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object: The Ancient Arctic
The Miocene Epoch
A map of the world showing the continents shifting to a location similar to that of present day.
During the Miocene Epoch (a time that began around 23 million years ago) the Earth's continents were in a location similar to that of present day. The Arctic also began to cool.

Canadian Museum of Nature




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Learning Object: The Ancient Arctic
Hadrosaur
A colourful illustration of a dinosaur in a forest.
It may not seem like it now, but 65 million years ago dinosaurs lived and roamed the Canadian Arctic during a time period known as the Cretaceous period. Hadrosaurs are also called "duck-billed" dinosaurs due to their head that resembles a modern-day duck. Roaming the Arctic, they chewed the lush vegetation with their long flattened snouts and many teeth.

Canadian Museum of Nature




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Learning Object: The Ancient Arctic
Coryphodon
A reconstruction of Coryphodon in a forest.
The Coryphodon (its scientific name) was a large mammal that roamed the Arctic from 51 to 59 million years ago, becoming one of the largest mammals to exist in the area since the extinction of the dinosaurs. Living in warm swampy forests, this creature moved slowly and had very strong neck muscles, short tusks and short legs.

Canadian Museum of Nature




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Learning Object: The Ancient Arctic
Puijila darwini
An illustration of Puijila darwini swimming underwater.
About three feet long, Puijila darwini is a missing link that represents the transition between some land creatures of the early Miocene epoch and modern day seals. It provides a fossil record for how some mammals—adapted for land— in essence, returned back to the sea.

Canadian Museum of Nature




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Learning Object: The Ancient Arctic
The Discovery of a New Species
Puijila darwini (its scientific name) represents a “missing link”—a branch on an evolutionary tree—between an ancestor that walked on land and today's sea-going seals and their relatives.
Canadian Museum of Nature
© 2013, Canadian Museum of Nature. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object: The Ancient Arctic
A Land Mammal Ready for the Sea
As both a land and sea mammal, Puijila darwini had to survive in two very different environments. It had to be a fast swimmer in the water and a fast runner on land. To do this, it had webbed feet with five fully formed fingers and toes. This allowed it to not only swim in the ocean but also to run on land to potentially catch prey and evade predators.
Canadian Museum of Nature
© 2013, Canadian Museum of Nature. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object: The Ancient Arctic
A Hunter in the 24 Hour Darkness
To adapt to this extremely difficult condition, Puijila darwini evolved with huge eyes in order to see its prey. It also developed long whiskers so that it could feel for fish in the darkness of deep and murky waters.
Canadian Museum of Nature
© 2013, Canadian Museum of Nature. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object: The Ancient Arctic
Tiktaalik roseae
The fossilized remains of Tiktaalik roseae.
Tiktaalik roseae evolved to have some physical features similar to fish and other features similar to land-based, four-legged, vertebrates.

Canadian Museum of Nature




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Learning Object: The Ancient Arctic
Canadaga arctica
A neck vertebrate from Canadaga arctica.
This specific bird, Canadaga arctica (its scientific name), named after the Canadian Arctic region in which it was discovered, was a bird that lived in warm Arctic waters 80 million years ago.

Canadian Museum of Nature




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Learning Object: The Ancient Arctic
Nunavutospongia irregulara
A fossilized sponge called Nunavutospongia irregulara.
One particular animal that lived in the tropical waters of the Arctic millions of years ago is a species of sponge called Nunavutospongia irregulara (its scientific name). Not to be confused with the common household item found in your sink, sponges are simple animals with a hard outer body that contain numerous pores used for filtering water.

Canadian Museum of Nature




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Learning Object: The Ancient Arctic
Larix groenlandii
A fossilized tree called Larix groenlandii.
A prehistoric tree currently housed at the Canadian Museum of Nature is the Larix groenlandii (its scientific name). This giant tree grew during a time known as the Pliocene era, which occurred 3 to 5 million years ago. During this time Canada’s Arctic was full of lush forests.

Canadian Museum of Nature




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Learning Object: The Ancient Arctic
Activité suggérée
Montrez des fossiles en classe et discutez de la façon dont ils se forment dans la nature.
Ils devraient réfléchir aux questions suivantes :

Questions précises :

- Quels renseignements nous fournissent les fossiles?
- Où trouve-t-on les fossiles?
- Quels types de fossiles sont mis en évidence dans cette leçon?
- Comment les fossiles lien vers l'évolution?

Questions d’ordre général :
- Qu’est-ce que j’ai trouvé le plus intéressant?
- Quel est le sujet que j’aimerais approfondir?

Organisez une discussion de classe sur des questions de réflexion.
Demander aux élèves de choisir l'une des espèces présentées dans la leçon et des recherches plus loin.

Learning Objectives

Les étudiants seront :

- Se familiariser avec le vocabulaire lié à la paléontologie.

- Découvrir les types de fossiles trouvés dans l’Arctique.

- En apprendre davantage sur l’environnement préhistorique de l’Arctique.

- Développer une compréhension des changements évolutifs.