Animal PairsAn activity on the themesof classification, taxonomyand evolution
• Try to pair the followinganimals according tosimilarity• For example, can you findtwo insects? Two birds?
Echidnas have fur as well as spinesThey have a long, sticky tongue for catching ants andtermitesEchidnas lay eggsThey roll up into a ball and uses their spines to defendthemselves from predatorsEchidna
HedgehogHedgehogs roll up into a ball and uses their spines todefend themselves from predatorsThey have a very strong sense of smellHedgehogs will visit your garden if you put a plate ofcat food out for them. If cats steal the food, hedgehogsalso like muesli and Weetabix, but milk is bad forthem!
NautilusA nautilus is a sea creature that looks like a squid thatlives in a snail shellThey pump gas into empty chambers of its shell tofloat, like the swim bladder of a fishAn octopus has 8 tentaclesA squid has 10 tentaclesA nautilus has 90 tentacles!
TurtleTurtles have been living in the seas since before thedinosaursIn turtle nests, temperature is used to decide whetheran egg hatches a boy or a girl turtleSix of the seven turtle species are endangeredTurtles spend all their lives at sea, except to lay eggs
CrabCrabs have teeth in their stomachsCrabs have ten legs, but the first two grow into claws.If a crab loses its claw, it can grow another one!The hard shell of a crab is its skeleton – there are nobones inside!
SnailThe longest snail ever found was 15 inches longSnail slime is so sticky it allows them to move upsidedown and around cornersEvery snail is both a boy and a girlPeople in France eat snails and call them escargot.Escargot fast for three days and are then fed onlywater and flour for a week before cooking, servedwith garlic and butter!
BryozoaBryozoa live in waterA single bryozoan is not an independent creature.Colonies of individuals live together with different jobs,like the separate organs of a human. Only a colonylives as an independent creatureEach bryozoan is about 2 mm in size, but colonies cangrow to diameters of 2 feet
WormWorms have no eyes, but they can sense light! Theycannot move if they are in the light for too longOne field could contain more than one million wormsThe longest ever found was 6 and a half metres long
Sea AnemoneSea anemones stick to rocks by an adhesive footThey have cells that fire harpoons of venom into prey.This paralyses the food, allowing it to be moved to themouth openingThey have nerves, but no brain
ButterflyButterfly eggs hatch into caterpillars. When they havegrown as much as they can, they transform into achrysalis, where they metamorphose into a butterflyButterflies are excellent mimics. Some even have‘eyespots’ on their wings to confuse predatorsThey have 4 wings and 6 legs
IcthyosaurIcthyosaurs are extinct animals that lived in the sea,living like dolphins do nowThey gave birth to live youngIcthyosaur means ‘fish lizard’Icthyosaurs had the largest eyes compared to bodylength of any known animal.The largest found was 26 cm in diameter!
PlatypusMale platypuses have venomous spurs on their hindlegsThese furry creatures have a bill like a duck, feet like anotter and a tail like a beaver!Platypuses lay eggsThey can locate food using electricity
FishFish jaws are not attached to their skull32,000 species of fish have been discoveredFish can drownStarfish and jellyfish are not fishThe coelocanth (above) was discovered from fossilsbefore it was found alive. It is very old, and has limbsmore like reptiles and mammals than fish
SharkShark skeletons are made of cartilage, not boneSharks have eyelidsThey breathe using gillsShark teeth are constantly replaced. Some sharks lose30,000 teeth in their lifetimeShark jaws are not attached to their skull
KakapoKakapo are a flightless, ground-dwelling parrot fromNew ZealandThere are only 126 living kakapo. All live on threepredator-free islands south of the mainlandMales woo females by ‘booming’ in a self-selectedarenaBreeding is dependent on the rimu plant, which fruitsevery 2-5 years
Polar BearPolar bear fur is not white. It is made of clear, hollowtubes that reflect light, making it look white. Their skinis actually black!They can swim 100 miles in one attemptWhen swimming, they use their front legs forpropulsion and their hind legs for steering
CoralCoral is a colony of lots of tiny creatures, which havetentacles, an exoskeleton and a mouth openingThe Great Barrier Reef is a 1,600 mile-long coral systemCoral reefs provide a home for many fish speciesPollution, over fishing and global warming arethreatening the world’s coral reefs
BeetleBeetles have 6 legs and 2 sets of wingsThere are more than 300,000 known species of beetle.One in four living creatures is a beetleThe largest beetle, the Megasoma, can weigh morethan an full size iPodBeetles eat anything from insects, dust and poo!
Blue-footed BoobyFemale blue-footed boobies love the colour blue, anddon’t the men know it! When trying to attract the girls,the males strut, to show off the colour of their feetThe word ‘booby’ comes from the Spanish word ‘bobo’,which means ‘stupid’
MiteMites are so small that they look like dust. They eatdead skin that falls off people and their pets. They liketo live in your pillowMites have eight legsMites can lay 80 eggs at a timeMany people are allergic to dust mite droppings
Information foractivity leaders• This activity can be tailored for anyage group – the level of complexitycan simply be adjusted, with somecards removed• The activity can be intensive foractivity leaders as much explanationabout the animals is needed• There are a number of deliberatetraps and wild cards – e.g. hedgehogand echidna. Hedgehog and echidnacan be paired according to ecologicalniche, but not taxonomically. Use allcards at your discretion dependingon audience.
• Use the Open University Tree of Life(overleaf) as a guide• Key terms:- insects- fish- birds- mammals- reptiles- molluscs- invertebrates- arthropodsMore advanced:- monotremes- cnidaria- protostomes- deuterostomes- lophotrochozoa- ecdysozoa- parazoa- metazoa- bilateria- radiata• Note that coral and bryozoa fall eitherside of the bilateria/radiata division andtherefore do not pair