What is evolution, how has it created Earth’s biodiversity, and how can a phylogenetic or evolutionary treea tree of life—help us better understand how different species are related? Learn some basics from this Evolution 101 video from NOVA, a companion vid to NOVA’s Evolution Lab interactive. From PBS Learning Media:

Every creature that’s ever lived, including you, has been shaped by the powerful force of evolution. One mechanism of evolution, natural selection, favors organisms that are better equipped to survive and reproduce, not necessarily the biggest or strongest organisms. Over time, evolution propagates traits that improve an organism’s chances of survival and reproduction. Phylogenetic trees are one way of representing evolutionary history. The Evolution Lab gives students a chance to create phylogenetic trees to track changes in DNA and expressed traits.

Follow the video above with these supporting NOVA explainers: DNA Spells Evolution, Biogeography: Where Life Lives, and Fossils: Rocking the Earth:

Learn more in the NOVA Evolution Lab‘s corresponding guide for educators.

Related book recommendations: Decoding Genes, Exploring Ecosystems, Cell Life, and Adaptation, from the Graphic Science series with Max Axiom, Super Scientist.

Related videos about evolution: Explaining The Tree of Life, 12 Days of Evolution, The Guillemot egg, an egg that saves its own life, and Evidence of evolution that you can find on your body.

Plus: Fossils, polar bears, Deep in the caves with Homo Naledi & the Rising Star Expedition, and The Animated Life of A.R. Wallace.

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