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Unit 2: Adaptations Changes Over Time Adapting to Environments

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1 Unit 2: Adaptations Changes Over Time Adapting to Environments
Animals of California’s Regions

2 Common Core Standards This Unit of Study covers a wide span of standards from multiple subject areas. Within this Unit of Study, your child will be working on the following standards: Writing 2: Write informative/expository texts Reading Information 7: Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively Science: Biomes and Animals Social Science: Regions of California

3 Main Focus: Adaptations
Unit 2 will be focusing on the overarching theme of ADAPTATIONS. We will be combining many Common Core Standards from across various subjects. Here, we will be connecting Language Arts, History and Science. We will revisit the various regions of California and examine the flora and fauna of the regions. We will also learn the difference between adaptations that are tied to BEHAVIORAL and PHYSICAL characteristics.

4 What is an ADAPTATION? An ADAPTATION is a change that gives an advantage in a given situation. When one ADAPTS, the ADAPTATION allows for an organism to better deal in an environment or situation. In Nature, an ADAPTATION can help an animal thrive or survive. Examples of Animal Adaptations: Rhinoceros and their large bulky frame and horn. Tigers, leopards and zebras with their striking patterns. These patterns allow for them to blend into their environments. Koalas and Pandas ADAPTING their body systems to ONLY eat Eucalyptus (Koalas) or Bamboo (Pandas).

5 More Adaptations Physical Adaptations Behavioral Adaptations
Waterproof fur (Seals, Otters, & Sea Lions) Webbed feet (Otterhound, Ducks & Sea Birds) Light bones (Birds, Bats, & some small mammals) Claws (Lizards, Rodents, even Anteaters) Horns/Antlers/Tusks (Antelope, Deer, Walruses & Elephants) Behavioral Adaptations Pack/Herd/Colony (Wolves, Bison, Wildebeest, Ants & Bees) Stealth Hunting (Killer Whales & Sharks) Preening & Showcasing (Peacocks, Birds of Paradise, & Elephant Seals)

6 Physical vs. Behavioral Adaptations
PHYSICAL Adaptations are changes that occur to an animal or organism over time. These are changes to its physical form that help it get an advantage to better thrive or survive. Examples: Giraffes with their long necks to reach treetop leaves. Pandas with their “bamboo thumb” which is a small bony nub that allows for them to grasp bamboo stalks. BEHAVIORAL Adaptations that occur in an animal’s behavior or repertoire of actions. These are generally learned over time and the animal passes this behavior to its offspring. Killer whales who have learned to knock seals off ice flows. Gorillas who have learned sign language to “communicate” with humans. Dolphins who have “learned” tricks and stunts to earn a food reward.

7 Adaptations for the Coastal Regions The Great White Shark
The Great White Shark is a perfect example of animal adaptations. Some adaptations that have helped this animal survive for THOUSANDS of years are: Streamlined body shape Well muscled body for speed and power Temperature regulating liver. An interior eyelid film that rolls back to cover the eye. A free-floating jaw that allows for a large gaping bite. Ampuli de Lorenzini that detect electrical impulses.

8 Adaptations for the Coastal Regions California Sea Lion
California Sea Lions can be found up and down the coastline. They are found on the shore, on small islets and buoys. What makes the California Sea Lion perfectly adapted for the coastal region? Streamlined body shape Keen eyesight Sharp canine teeth to tear into fish A layer of fat to insulate their bodies. Water repellant fur coat which protects them from the cold coastal water.

9 Adaptations for the Coastal Regions Warty Sea Cucumber
A most unusual sea animal is the Warty Sea Cucumber. This invertebrate has adapted itself for survival on the ocean floor. The Warty Sea Cucumber possesses: A slimy mucus that covers its body A simple digestive system which processes any and all nutrients that are inhaled into its body The ability to expel its intestines out of its body. An elastic body structure to help it travel along the ocean floor. A slightly toxic chemical that makes its distasteful to predators.

10 Adaptations for the Mountain Regions The Grizzly Bear
This APEX predator was not born ready to rule the wild. Eons have perfected this animal into the ultimate hunter. Grizzly Bears are the top because of the following: Large muscular body Protective fur & layers of fat Keen sense of smell 3 to 5 inch razor sharp claws A crushing bite

11 Adaptations for the Mountain Regions The Spotted Owl
Who’s sitting in the trees? The Spotted Owl. This silent flier swoops through the Mountain woods to scoop up a variety of prey. What adaptations make this bird perfect for the mountain region? A mottled feathered coat Large wing span to silently glide 180 degree plus rotating head/neck Keen eyesight Grasping talons A powerful beak which can snap through bone

12 Adaptations for the Mountain Regions The Mountain Lion
Hello Kitty! This Mountain Lion is not a cute little house cat. This Mountain hunter silently stalks its prey and pounces for the final attack. How has it managed this? With the following adaptations. A sandy colored coat to blend into the rocky terrain. Keen vision Acute sense of smell (It’s whiskers help direct scents to its nostrils. Razor sharp claws Sharp canine teeth and a crushing bite

13 Adaptations for the Central Valley Region The Gopher
Gophers pop up in valleys and fields. These animals have adapted quite well to survive in valleys, prairies, and hillsides. Gophers have adapted from ground and air predators by: Having a keen sense of smell. Long claws on their feet which helps them to burrow and dig through the soil. Sharp fast growing teeth which can be used to help them chew through roots and other plant matter. Twitch muscles which allow for them to respond quickly to danger.

14 Adaptations for the Central Valley Region The Green Toad
The Green Toad is a native amphibian of California. They inhabit the marshes, streams and waterways in the Central Valley. How have these toads adapted to survive: Powerful hind legs for jumping and leaping to safety. Moist, almost slimy skin to help them survive the temperature and season shifts in the valley. Ability to “croak” which allows for them to communicate amongst each other. Green Toads also lay huge egg sacs to ensure a large amount of offspring have the chance of continuing their survival.

15 Adaptations for the Central Valley Region San Joaquin Kit Fox
A wily animal of California’s regions is the Kit Fox. This small predator feeds on small mammals and birds. What gives it an advantage in the wild? A sandy coat which allows it to camouflage into the brush and rocky terrain. Large upright ears which allows for it to have keen hearing. Sharp vision to spy quick moving prey. A lean well muscled body which gives its speed and maneuverability.

16 Adaptations for the Desert Region The Rosy Boa
The dry desert heat creates a hostile environment for many creatures. It is NOT the best place to visit. The Rosy Boa slithers about the desert floor in search of a variety of small rodents, lizards and birds. How can this snake endure this brutal region? Snakes are cold blooded and thrive in the warm weather. Snakes have thermal pits which help them sense the contrasting temperatures of animals against the desert floor. Snakes are ALL muscle. Their bodies allow for them to travel across the hot desert and squeeze or “constrict” their victims to death. Snakes have an adaptation where their jaws are split which allows them to ingest prey two to three times their body’s diameter.

17 Adaptations for the Desert Region The Cactus Wren
Moving from the Desert floor, we spy in a cactus a little brown wren. The Cactus Wren is a well adapted bird to survive in the California desert. How has this swift little bird change to better endure its environment? Small in size compared to other birds. Stilt-like legs which allow for it to stand above the prickly needles of the cacti where it builds a home. A sharp narrow beak which is used to bore out a hole in the waxy and thick cactus plant’s walls. Lightweight skeleton which allows for it to be fast and maneuverable.

18 Adaptations for the Desert Region The Roadrunner
Darting around the Desert floor is the Roadrunner. This fleet footed bird doesn’t fly, it RUNS. What changes made it the speedster of the desert. Keen eyesight. This helps them spy prey along the desert floor. Powerful leg muscles which power this bird’s quickness. A set of long tail feathers which give the roadrunner balance while running. Quick reflexes which help it to evade dangerous prey. (Roadrunners are known to hunt snakes. They can dodge snake strikes with their swiftness and agility.)

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