Arachnophobia (1990)

Concept featured in clip:
Evolution; biodiversity; how ecologists measure biodiversity
Location of clip: 0:10:21 - 0:13:14 (DVD)


Play Flickclip Here

Summary of clip: A team of scientists and a photographer travel deep into a part of the rainforest that has been cut off from the surrounding area by natural barriers. This has allowed insects and plants to evolve into species that are not found anywhere else in the world. The scene shows ecologists killing insects in a tree and then counting species and collecting specimens of species they've never seen before.

Connection of flickclip to the concept: In the clip students witness collecting previously undiscovered species of insects and the characters explain how the bugs evolved differently from all other insects in the area. It clearly shows the link between evolution and biodiversity.
Suggestions to teachers:

1. Suggested questions for students when viewing the clip:

a. How do ecologists measure biodiversity?
b. What are the limitations of this type of fieldwork?
c. Why has this area evolved unique species of arthropods?
d. Is this a realistic picture of evolution?

2. This clip may be used to engage students in a learning cycle on biodiversity and evolution.

3. This clip could also used to begin an inquiry lesson in:

  • Entomology - by studying the diversity of insect species in a given area.
  • Evolution - students could take species from their back yard and describe how these species might change if they became isolated.