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Students are confronted with a variety of bivalves and questions about the meaning of shell form for each. Some specimens will be accompanied by pictures providing background material. This is an interactive exercise, with the instructor providing assistance with hints and helpful questions. Answers are provided on the powerpoint slides. Instructors will have somewhat different specimens than are employed here and may not be able to duplicate all parts of the exercise. At the start of the activity, the instructor will explain that studies of functional morphology, leading to reconstruction of life habits, is essential to paleoecological research and to interpretation of the biological significance of evolutionary trends. An example of each is to be provided. Students will explain the logic by which, with or without the aid of the instructor, they have arrived at their conclusions, .
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