Script: IntroOur new unit is all about animals! Many of us love to read books that tell us all about animals, but in science, we are going to learn even more about how animals, including humans can survive. I bet you didn’t know that humans are animals too! Well, we are! Animals all over the world must adapt, or change, the way they live because of their environment. In this unit, we’ll learn about these adaptations and how every animal is unique.
Ecosystem: All over the world there are different types of animals. We’ve learned about the different ecosystems. An ecosystem is an environment consisting of all the organisms living in the area and also the nonliving components, such as air, soil, water and sunlight such as the tundra.
Basic Needs:Basic needs are what everyone needs to survive.Animals of all shapes and sizes need certain basic needs to live a healthy life.Not every living thing needs the same basic needs, we are all different in our own unique way. Think of a few things you need to survive? We all need food, water, and shelter.
Along with theneed for food, water, and shelter, animals need to maintain body temperature within certain ranges to stay alive.An endothermic (or warm blooded) animal that regulates its own body temperature, typically by keeping it a constant level. Ectotherms (cold blooded) animals warm their bodies by absorbing heat from their surroundings.
Birds and mammals maintain a constant body temperature. Most endotherms depend on their body fat to conserve heat. For instance, aquatic mammals, such as seals, porpoises, and whales, have a thick layer of blubber. Fur and feathers are important for insulation too. In cold weather, birds fluff up their feathers to trap body heat, keeping it against their bodies.
This panda has thick fur to keep its body warm during cold. What other types of body coverings can you think of that different animals? (fur, hair, feathers, smooth skin, rough skins, spines and scales. Some animals use hard shells to protect their bodies from their environment. We’ll be doing an activity later this week that includes observing a wing feather and comparing it to other types of feathers to find differences and similarities between types of feathers.
A member of the animal kingdom is classified as either having or not having a backbone. A vertebrate is an animal with a backbone. An invertebrate is an animal without a backbone. So is this giraffe a vertebrate or an invertebrate? Give me a V for vertebrate and an I for invertebrate!
MATCH UP GAME SEE WHAT WE KNOW!
Behavioral adaptations, by an individual or a group, help animals meet their needs-such as this bear. What does a bear do in the wintertime to stay alive? (hibernates). Behaviors can be instinctive or learned. Instincts are traits that the animal is born with. Learned behaviors are taught to the animal by their parents.
Scientists believe that there are over 10 million different kinds of life forms, or species on Earth. Imagine trying to study and understand the lives, patterns, behaviors, and evolution of so many different kinds of organisms. In order to make their job easier, scientists classify living things into groups, based on how they are the same, and how they are different.
The seven groups of classification are:KingdomPhylum (Divisions)ClassOrderFamilyGenusSpeciesThe first level of classification is the Kingdom. This is the biggest unit of classification. The smallest, or most basic, level of classification is the species. You may know a species by a more common name such as a human, a fish, or an oak tree. Classification levels between Kingdom and species gets smaller in size, when moving from the top level down to the bottom. (continued...)
For example, this animal here is a…. “gorilla” Scientist would classify this living animal in the kingdom of animalia, the class of mammalia, the order of primates, and the genus of gorilla! Gorillas are considered endangered, which means that there are few left in the wild and scientists work hard to protect them.
Did you know that there are three species of elephant alive today: African bush elephant, African forest elephant and Asian elephant?There used to be other species of elephants but they are extinct. Extinction occurs because a species cannot adapt to its environment or their environment becomes dangerous for them. Many years ago, elephants were hunted for their tusks. This lead to the extinction of many species.
We’re also going to learn about the food chain! A food chain shows how each living thing gets food and how nutrients and energy are passed from creature to creature.
What happens when an animals needs are not met? Animals react in a variety of ways, If food or water is scarce, animals continue to look for it. Availability of food and water can affect an animal’s ability to survive in its environment. Animals that do not satisfy their needs may become sick or die, often because they are so weakened that predators can successfully attack.
We’ll also learn which animals are carnivores, herbivores and omnivores. A carnivore is an animal that eats only meat, such as many larger cats, Like this cheetah. A herbivore only eats plants, like this kangaroo. An omnivore eats meat and plants, just like us, or this black bear!
The needs of this lizard are very similar to other that of others in its classification of “reptilia”. Lizards and crocodiles alike are found throughout the world in warm regions because both are considered cold blooded. However, many lizards can be either herbivores or omnivores, but all crocodiles are carnivores!
Remember!As scientists we’ll need to use certain skills that will help us understand the new knowledge we are learning about. We, as scientists, must actively find information and seek explanations for all of our scientific questions. We also should question scientific assumptions. An assumption is when people decide that the answer they came up with is correct. We should also always respect the hard work of other scientists.
I hope you are all excited about our new unit! We will have a final project in which we’ll work in groups to design a zoo exhibit for an animal of our choosing based on what we’ve learned! We’ll get to pick out what the animal needs in its environment to let it survive!! Two snaps if you are excited to learn about animals!!
Unit 4: It’s ALIVE! Animals and Basic Needs<br />