First, you will need to download the Polar Bear Jacket lab manual, which can be found here:
Have you ever wondered why certain animals live in certain places? Why do penguins live in Antartica while elephants live in Africa or Asia? Why can’t every animal live everywhere? The answer is adaptations.
An adaptation is a change that a species makes that allows it to live in a particular area comfortably. For example, ducks have adapted to have webbed feet so they can swim in the water. Polar bears have blubber that insulates them, keeping them warm in cold conditions. A sloth certainly does not have webbed feet or blubber, so it would not be well adapted to spend many hours in the water or live in the arctic. However, it has long toes that allow it to climb up and live in trees, making the rainforest a great home for these wonderful creatures!
The characteristics that make up each home for an organism is known as a habitat. Each animal has a habitat that they prefer. This is because they have adapted well to live in that particular habitat. Our activity will explore how and why species adapt. What causes adaptations? Why are they important?
Like animals, plants also have adapted to live in certain habitats. Have you ever taken a vacation and noticed different kinds of plants growing? Plants too have preferred habitats and have adapted to live in certain habitats. Many cacti species that live in desert habitats have adapted to create energy in the dark, while most other plants create energy in light. Doing this saves them from losing precious water, which is very difficult to find in the desert.
Saskatchewan Curriculum Connection: HC4.2: Analyze the structures and behaviours of plants and animals that enable them to exist in various habitats (b, c).
Check out what we did last time by clicking “Baby It’s Cold Outside – May 11th”, linked below.