World Builders Lesson 9 -- Land Animals

      

 

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World Builders

Session Nine
Terrestrial Zoology

Animals on Land

    On earth the land animals seem strong and independent, capable of movement, able to live in nearly all environments, and of many diverse shapes and capabilities. Are they indeed wild and free, or have they been as carefully shaped by their surroundings as any work of art? The Inuit people in Alaska say that "The sharp tooth of the wolf has sculpted the slim legs of the deer." Think about your animals, and how their needs have shaped them to survive in their environments. Think about the benefits and costs of specialization. Are your animals going to be able to eat the plants that you created last week?

    Animals inherit behaviors that help them to survive. Instinct is an innate, inherited behavior, for example, nest building in birds. Other behaviors are related to how the body functions, for example, how often an animal has babies, and how many of them are born at a time. When you study an ecological system, you see that there are always some members of every kind of organism in the system. Ecologies can be destroyed if there are too many of one kind, or if there are too few. As you create your animals, give them characteristics that will help them to survive.


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Assignment:

Your group will work to
  • discuss how your animals get out of the ocean. How do they breathe? Cope with dehydration? Compensate for the loss of the support of the water for their body weight? Reproduce? What do they eat?
  • sketch your land animals and show the stages that they have grown through
  • decide which animals will live in the different climatic zones. How do they adapt?
  • write descriptions of your planet's land animals
  • draw a diagram to show how the animal species are related to each other
  • each person creates three animals.

Homework: Bring to class next session:

  • The written description of how your animals emerge onto the land and cope with its challenges.
  • Sketches of the stages of your animals' evolution
  • Sketches and descriptions of your animals in their different climatic zones
  • A diagram showing how the animal species are related to each other.


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Copyright © 1999.   Elizabeth Anne Viau and her licensors.  All rights reserved. This material may be used by individuals for instructional purposes but not sold. Please inform the author if you use it at t eviau@earthlink.net