I would like you to complete a scientific experiment at home on our learning about adaptation and evolution. This should help you understand how adaptation is important to the survival of species.
You should complete the 3 small experiments so that you can bring your findings together and write a final conclusion.
First experiment - Squirrel Hunt;
Plants have different strategies for spreading their seeds to grow more plants in new places. Some plants use animals and birds to help them. Some animals hide seeds to eat later and then forget where they have hidden some of them, the seeds then grow in a new place.
What kinds of animals do this?
What kind of seeds do they hide?
Find 5 nuts (acorns or hazel nuts).
Pretend you are a squirrel stocking up for winter and hide the nuts. When you are finished with the other activities, return to the area and see if you can remember where you hid the nuts and how many you can find.
Second experiment - Berry Squishing;
Go on a berry hunt.
Collect berries you find in seperate plastic bags. Use the fruit and seed sheet to identify the berries and, if appropriate, write the name on the bag.
Squish berries in the plastic bag to see what’s inside, seeds? (Some berries might be tough, you may need to use a stone to squash them, watch your fingers!)
How many seeds are inside the berry? What do they look like? Anything else inside?
Use the recording sheets to record what is inside each type of berry.
Third and final experiment - Best Beak;
Different kinds of birds eat different kinds of foods, because they are specialised. Their beaks have adapted to be the best shape for picking up the food they like best and is most available to them.
In this experiment we predict which ‘beak’ will be best for each ‘food’ type. Start by laying out the bird ‘food’ in 5 locations. You will need to have a set of ‘beaks’. At each location, predict which ‘beak’ you think will work best for that food, then test the ‘beaks’ to see if your prediction is correct, recording on the worksheet as you go. Now rotate around the locations until you have completed the experiment with all the ‘food’ types.
Based on the results of the experiment, you can finish by matching the beak to the food on the final worksheet.
Bird ‘food’: pipe cleaners, rice, raisins, playdough, bird seed
Bird ‘beaks’: chopsticks, spoons, tweezers, clothes pegs, small flat stones pencils, clipboards