Animals, Food Chains & Adaptation 11-19
This is a list of resources specifically selected to support the Polar Explorer Programme.
Links and Resources
This is a fascinating video with two supporting activities. When thinking about ocean food webs, students tend to have little idea of what is meant by zooplankton and phytoplankton. This film shows students what these organisms look like and describes how they have a crucial place in the Arctic food chain, which is highly sensitive to change.
Activity A uses an Arctic food chain to show why a pyramid of biomass is more useful than a pyramid of numbers.
Activity B develops ideas about food webs and encourages students to think about adaptations of species.
Mission 3: Marine Food Web provides a quick cut-and-stick food web which can be used with the resource above. If used together with the full resource, it can help students to consider the effects of changes in habitat and population on food webs, in this case the effects of ocean acidification.
In this Science upd8 activity students take on the role of a trainee documentary producer working for an environmental channel. The television programme scenario, ‘Bears in Trouble’, explores how rising temperatures in the Arctic could be endangering the survival of polar bears. Polar bears seem perfectly adapted to the Arctic environment, but students reveal a different story when they study the bear's feeding strategy.
This resource is based on the research and journeys undertaken by explorers and scientists taking part in the Catlin Arctic Survey between 2009 and 2011. Four of the five lessons look at how ocean acidification is affecting marine food webs:
The problem of ocean acidification. The reaction between carbonates and acids and the impact of acidification on marine organisms is explored further
Ocean acidification and food webs. An investigation into the role of plankton in ocean food webs and the impact of environmental changes
Is there life in the ice? An investigation of the microscopic animals and plants which survive in ice channels
Ocean detectives. A class practical to find the acidity and salinity of water samples.
In this podcast from the Planet Earth Online collection and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Richard Hollingham hears how the underwater world isn't the soundless place often imagined.
From chirping, gurgling and snapping sounds from busy coral reefs to clicking sperm whales, scientists are finding that all sorts of marine life use sounds to find a suitable home, to find a mate, to avoid being eaten or to communicate.
In the first report, a marine biologist from the University of Bristol explains how manmade noise might not affect just whales and dolphins, but also much smaller creatures that live in and around coral reefs.
Later, Richard meets a British Antarctic Survey scientist to find out how fossils of tiny marine creatures called bryozoans give us clues about when the West Antarctic Ice Sheet last collapsed.
We also hear the strange clicking sounds sperm whales use to communicate with each other, and find out how very far leatherback turtles can swim.
The first part of this podcast looks at how the freezing seas around Antarctica are not barren and lifeless.
The Census of Marine Life is building up a picture of the richness and diversity of life in the world's oceans and has so far found thousands of species on shelves around the frozen continent. Incredibly, scientists are still finding new species.
At this rate, researchers will soon have documented 17,000 species living on coastal shelves in the region. Richard
This Cape Farewell video clip shows scientists back at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, analysing the samples of phytoplankton and zooplankton taken in the Arctic, identifying species and counting their abundance.
Activity G - Plankton analysis is based on the images provided in the presentation. This presentation includes both images to identify zooplankton together with the photographs required for the analysis. In this activity the students model the way that scientists collaborate to build up a data set.
Notes on the activities and their use, with the video clip in lessons, are given in the Teachers’ Guidance.