Plant & Animal Adaptations

posted Dec 5, 2014, 6:25 AM by Stephanie Gerlach   [ updated Dec 5, 2014, 6:27 AM ]
 In Science, we are learning how adaptations help animals survive in their environments.  We conducted an experiment to find out whether fat ("blubber") helps animals like walruses and seals to keep warm.  Student volunteers were asked to plunge two of their fingers into icy water.  One of the fingers was first coated with vegetable shortening. The students discovered that the fat-coated finger was far less susceptible to the cold.
                                                  The students are also learning about plant adaptations.  The saguaro cactus, for example, has a waxy coating that helps it to seal in water, preventing the water from evaporating in the hot desert sun.  We conducted a simple experiment to demonstrate this process using paper towels and wax paper.  We wet two paper towels, then wrapped one in wax paper to model a plant that has waxy skin.  The other paper towel was left uncovered.  The models were placed on the windowsill.  The next day, the students discovered that the wax-covered paper towel remained moist, while the other paper towel had dried out!  Here are some photos of our budding scientists: