HEY, IT’S YOUR FIRST UNIT ASSIGNMENT!
SO, DEVELOP THE FOLLOWING HABITS BEGINNING NOW:
- READ THROUGH ALL OF THE INSTRUCTIONS AND OTHER ASSIGNMENT INFORMATION CAREFULLY. DO NOT SKIP OR SKIM ANYTHING.
- MAKE SURE YOU ARE FOLLOWING ALL OF THESE INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE SUBMITTING YOUR PAPER.
THE BASIC ASSIGNMENT:
Your job is to imagine three animals and describe the ecological niche each one occupies, and identify some traits (e.g., features of its body or behavior) of each that are adapted to the particular aspects of its niche.
Make sure you are applying the ideas and terminology from the Niches and Adaptations mini-lecture. I have provided the video of this lecture below.
Follow all of the specific instructions below.
WRITING THE PAPER:
- Double-space your paper.
- Use complete sentences in your paper.
- Follow the format you see below. Where you see highlighted labels below, please use these exact words to organize and label your work exactly as you see here. (You don’t have to highlight your labels, just be sure to use them. Indent as you see here if possible, but the labels themselves are the most important thing.)
STEP 1: FOR ANIMAL #1 WRITE THE FOLLOWING:
NAME OF ANIMAL: Make up and name an imaginary animal. It can be any kind of animal (mammal, fish, bird, insect, etc.), but make it at least reasonably realistic â€“ no supernatural traits, please. DO NOT research real animals for this assignment!
Physical Space: Describe the physical space of the animalâ€™s niche. (Remember, it’s not just a location — it’s the kind of space they occupy in that location.)
Trait: Describe one trait of the animalâ€™s body or behavior and explain how that particular trait is an adaptation to that particular physical space.
Diet: Describe the dietary niche of the animal. (Remember, this means you’re describing what it eats).
Trait: Describe one trait of the animalâ€™s body or behavior and explain how that particular trait is an adaptation to that particular diet.
Active Time of Day: Describe the time of day in which that animal is typically most active. (Please choose — do not say it’s equally active at all times, as that doesn’t work well for this assignment.)
Trait: Describe one trait of the animalâ€™s body or behavior and explain how that particular trait is an adaptation to being most active at that particular time of day.
STEP 2 AND 3: REPEAT THE ABOVE FOR ANIMAL #2 AND THEN FOR ANIMAL #3.
Please vary the descriptions of the niches and do not repeat any of the same traits.
HINTS ON WRITING A SUCCESSFUL PAPER:
- There are many different kinds of traits you can consider when trying to think of one that might be adapted to the niche. Think about body shape, size, and structure. Think about coloration. Think about the animal’s senses. Think about what it needs to find, get, and digest food. Think about the dangers it faces and how it can avoid or escape them. What are its teeth like? What covers its body? What instinctual behaviors does it follow? When does it follow them? These are just examples. There are lots of possible things to discuss.
- Be sure the traits you name are adaptations to the niche you’ve described, not just reasons the niche is good for that animal. For example, a trait adapted to being nocturnal must be a specific trait that helps out with nighttime activity (or daytime inactivity). On the other hand, if you say, “By being nocturnal, the animal avoids daytime predators,” this just says that it’s a good thing to be active at night, but it doesn’t actually name any trait the animal has that helps it be successful with nighttime activity (In this case, being nocturnal is actually an adaptation to a physical space in which there are daytime predators.)
- Always use relevant terminology from the course (from the study guide or the slides) when possible and appropriate (e.g., “arboreal,” “carnivore,” etc.). This will figure into your grade!
- All work must be completely your own in order to get any credit. DO NOT USE ANY INFORMATION ABOUT ANY REAL ANIMALS FROM ANY SOURCE.