Nature (mountains, plants, animals, rivers, etc.) have captured the interest of naturalists for many years. One very special naturalist who was born in 1809 is still making news. As a boy, he was so fascinated with organisms in his environment he once placed a beetle in his mouth to keep from losing it until he got home to show his dad!
My name is Charles Darwin. I was interested in adaptations of plants and animals which allowed them to survive day-to-day activities over time.
After college, I decided to pursue my first love in life…nature… and take a cruise on the HMS Beagle which lasted 5 years.
During my years on the ship I took collections of rocks, fossils, animals, and plants. (not in my mouth anymore ) I documented my findings in my log book which are still being viewed and discussed in science classrooms of today!
One of my observations which truly affected how I felt about the origins of organisms … finch birds found on the Galapagos Islands. Each island had a finch that was similar in appearance other than the beak.
Click on my portrait to learn about my 5 years on a great ship…SMS Beagle.
Adaptations can be grouped into three categories: structural, behavior, and physiological. Review their meaning then watch a really cool video of another very special spot on this beautiful planet we call home…Madagascar.
Type of Adaptation Importance Structural External characteristics (feet, eyes, bills, skin, etc.) Behavioral Mannerisms or internal characteristics (Nocturnal, arboreal, burrowing, hibernation, rumination, endothermic, etc.) Physiological A change in an organism usually based on an external stimuli (Skin tanning due to sun exposure, formation of calluses on hands due to increased pressure at that point.)
Once you have finished watching this video…make a connection between the types of adaptations and the array of animals on Madagascar.
Review other plant and animal adaptations I find interesting from different biomes of the world! Work with those students in your group on the “Beaks of Choice” activity. Compare your personal beaks with those I saw many years ago on my expedition.
Adaptations Around the World
Adaptations in the Tundra
Wildlife has extra layers of blubber and fur.
Animals have the ability to hibernate.
Plants grow low to the ground to survive frigid temperatures.
Adaptations in the Taiga
Leaves shaped like pine needles and waxy to hold moisture.
Trees are conical in shape to release snow.
Animals hibernate or migrate to warmer climates.
Adaptations in the Grasslands
Dense underground root system to allow re-growth after winter.
Two-thirds of prairie grass roots die off and add organic matter making rich soil.
Animals have short legs for grazing.
Adaptations in the Deciduous Forest
Animals may hibernate.
Animals are camouflage.
Trees provide shelter for animals and plants.
Adaptations in the Desert
Animals come out at night when cooler and sleep in caves, dens, or burrows during the day
Plants open their stomates at night for less water loss
Animals may have light coats to reflect light.
Animals may have larger ears to release body heat.
Adaptations in the Rain Forest
Color markings to ward off predators.
Body structures to accommodate tree life.
Many animals will eat only one type of food due to large numbers of critters
Adaptations in the Water
Camouflage to blend into the background.
Change color to indicate poisonous.
Salmon migrate to spawn.
Congregate in groups called schools.
All organisms must adapt to their environment to continue their species.
An ecosystem consists of living (organisms-biotic) and non-living (physical features-abiotic) within an environment.
Organisms need food, water, and proper temperature to survive and be in equilibrium in nature.
All organisms must reproduce to keep the species going.
Which of the following types of plants would be best suited for growing on a forest floor?
A . A plant with shallow roots
B. A plant that needs a lot of light
C. A plant with a deep taproot
D. A plant that lives in shade
In which type of ecosystem would you most likely find insects that require moist habitats to lay their eggs?
Cactus plants have thick, fleshy stems; shallow roots; and leaves in the form of spines. All of these structures make a cactus suited for life in a dry environment. Of the following, the environment in which a cactus can best survive is a
A. Lake ecosystem
C. Deciduous forest
Which biome would best support all the organisms shown in the food web ?
A. Ocean B. Estuary C. Pond or lake D. Fast-moving stream