Lion Country Safari Animal Adaptations Program 2
(Designed for Grades 6-8)
To expand students’ knowledge of animal features and behaviors that can help or hinder their survival in a particular habitat.
Animals come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. They live in different habitats around the world. Over time, they have developed special body parts and special behaviors that help them survive in their habitat. Each animal has adapted to the conditions of their habitat and has developed ways to use the available resources. These changes are called adaptations. An adaptation is an inherited characteristic. It is not developed over an animal’s lifetime but over generations. Adaptations may be physical, behavioral, or physiological. The high hind legs of a cheetah are a physical adaptation. The annual migration of the monarch butterfly is a behavioral adaptation; while a chameleon, changing its skin color for camouflage, displays a physiological adaptation. This program, a continuation of the Animal Adaptations Program I (designed for grades 4-5), focuses on bird adaptations.
This program meets the following Next Generation Sunshine State Standards and is STEAM compliant:
SC.6.N.1.5: Recognize that science involves creativity, not just in designing experiments, but also in creating explanations that fit evidence.
SC.7.L.15.2: Explore the scientific theory of evolution by recognizing and explaining ways in which genetic variation and environmental factors contribute to evolution by natural selection and diversity of organisms.
SC.7.L.15.3: Explore the scientific theory of evolution by relating how the inability of a species to adapt within a changing environment may contribute to the extinction of that species.
MAFS.K12.MP.2.1: Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
MAFS.K12.MP.4.1: Model with mathematics.
VA.68.C.3.3: Use analytical skills to understand meaning and explain connections with other contexts.
VA.68.F.1.1: Use non-traditional thinking and various techniques to create two-, three-, and/or four-dimensional artworks.
Adaptations 2 Activity 1
This activity is designed to introduce students to some adaptations of animals that they may see at Lion Country Safari. Use our website to find information about our animals prior to your visit. Answers: SW Birds: Amazon parrot, lory, flamingo, sarus crane, southern ground hornbill; SW Reptiles: green iguana, alligator, prehensile-tailed skink, Burmese python, African spurred tortoise; SW Mammals: Hoffman’s sloth, African crested porcupine, squirrel monkey, African pygmy hedgehog, siamang; Safari Mammals: zebra, giraffe, llama, chimpanzee, Nile lechwe; Safari Birds: pelican, ostrich, rhea, black vulture (native; not in our collection), and moorhen or gallinule (native; not in our collection).
Adaptations 2 Activity 2
Print a copy of this chart for each student (or group of students, if you would prefer that they work on this as a group activity) and ask the students to complete it on their visit. When you get back to class, review their charts.