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1 April 2013 Aliens in the Classroom: Fantastical Creatures as Tools in Teaching Biology
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Abstract

Creatures from science fiction and fantasy can be used to illustrate key concepts and principles in biology. This article describes a project for a university-level general zoology course wherein the students classify, down to at least the phylum level, “animals” from the Alien Species Wiki (2013). This is an online database of creatures from television, film, literature, and games. The primary challenges that the students faced were overly fantastical hybridizations and assigning reality-based classification mechanisms to fictional beings, but the project is a useful exercise in creativity, knowledge of diagnostic characteristics, and the wonder of discovery of new, previously unexplainable physio-morphologies.

©2013 by National Association of Biology Teachers. All rights reserved. Request permission to photocopy or reproduce article content at the University of California Press's Rights and Permissions Web site at www.ucpressjournals.com/reprintinfo.asp.
Ronald Allan L. Cruz "Aliens in the Classroom: Fantastical Creatures as Tools in Teaching Biology," The American Biology Teacher 75(4), 257-261, (1 April 2013). https://doi.org/10.1525/abt.2013.75.4.6
Published: 1 April 2013
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