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Bears for Teachers

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Great Lips

Objectives:

Students will be able to define adaptation and give 10 specific examples of adaptations for food-getting behavior and how they enhance the animals' ability to survive.

Materials:

Bear Video - can be checked out in Idaho from the Hunter Education Distribution from Fish & Game at 1-800-448-6843

Extensions:

  • Have students identify other adaptations (non-feeding) that the bear exhibits.
  • Use this activity as an introduction to the classic example for natural selection -Darwin's Finches of the Galapagos.

Bear catching salmon

Methods:

Students will watch a five-minute video on bear-feeding behavior and make observations in writing concerning the adaptations involved with their feeding. Teacher will draw specific attention to the prehensile lips.

Students will work in groups or pairs and identify ten specific feeding adaptations in other animals.
Groups will present their lists to the class making a larger class list of adaptations.

End the lesson with a video of other animals and their specific adaptations.

Background:

Adaptations allow an organism an "edge" in the game of survival. When one animal can compete for resources more efficiently than another, the more suitably-adapted individual will survive in greater numbers than his less well-adapted counterpart. This, in turn, will also allow the more adapted individual to reproduce more.

Soon, the population that is more adapted becomes the more predominant organism in the entire population. This is differential reproduction and is the basis for Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection.

Evaluation:

Class will create a composite list of adaptations for further reference. This list could be used as a basis for a quiz at some future time.

Many thanks to Idaho Fish and Game and Project WILD for all of their help in this project. Information for this site developed from "WILD ABOUT BEARS", and is copyrighted by Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Idaho Project WILD. Permission obtained and granted to use this material for educational purposes. Photographic images were provided by the Department of Fish and Game and various other sources.

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