Fishes and Sharks: Origins of Jaws in Vertebrates


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question 1 of 3

Which of the four chordate traits is believed to have led to the hinged jaw?

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1. What does the word 'chondrichthyes' mean?

2. Actinopterygii are which group of fishes?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

Along the evolutionary journey of fishes, skeletal rods appeared in gill slits, eventually morphing into hinged jaws. This quiz/worksheet combo will check your knowledge of this amazing transformation and provide an in-depth look into the evolutionary history of these complex ocean-dwelling chordates.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

For mastery of this assessment, students must know the following information:

  • Chordate feature that led to a hinged jaw
  • Definitions of key terms
  • Characteristics of different classes of fish
  • Original purpose of gill slits

Skills Practiced

Students taking this assessment will gain practice in the following skills:

  • Critical thinking - apply relevant concepts to examine information about hinged jaws in a different light
  • Defining key concepts - ensure that you can accurately define main phrases, such as pharyngeal slits
  • Distinguishing differences - compare and contrast two classes of fish: chondrichthyes and osteichthyes
  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer questions about the evolution of hinged jaws

Additional Learning

This lesson, along with its companion quiz and worksheet, contains the following objectives:

  • Introduce the four characteristics of chordates
  • Explain the role sarcopterygii played in ancient fish evolving into tetrapods
  • Discuss how evolution of pharyngeal slits in fish led to new ways of eating and breathing