Untangling the Devil's Corkscrew

This Untangling the Devil's Corkscrew video also includes:

How did scientists unravel the mystery of an ancient beaver species? An engaging video from a well-written biology playlist discusses the discovery of strange spiral fossils found in Nebraska farm country. Junior paleontologists examine the evidence that shows the peculiar burrowing habits of the Miocene epoch beavers that both helped and harmed the species.

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CCSS: Adaptable
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Instructional Ideas
  • Add the video to a fossil records lesson to highlight the importance of trace fossils in paleontology
  • Have students learn more about the climate, flora, and fauna of the Miocene epoch with some further reading
Classroom Considerations
  • Have younger scholars learn a bit about trace fossils before watching the video
  • The resource showcases a wide variety of trace fossils, as well as skeletal fossils from the corkscrews themselves
  • Vintage photographs from the 1800s show where the first corkscrews were located, adding historical interest to the video
  • None
Common Core