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To set adaptation in a historic frame, fossil records as evidence of …


Biology Articles » Paleobiology » Fantastic animals as an experimental model to teach animal adaptation » Figures

Figures
- Fantastic animals as an experimental model to teach animal adaptation

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Figure 1Scheme of the poster used for the cooperative learning strategy "Consensus Placemat". When using this tool, students work individually to brainstorm their ideas about a topic (Individual ideas) and then combine their most important ideas with ideas of others in their group (Group ideas). (Picture and text from: http://www.ltag.education.tas.gov.au/effectteach/Thinking/placemat.htm).

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Figure 2Examples of posters realized by groups of students using the "Consensus Placemat" strategy. Students produced posters of the imaginary world/environment (A, B) by drawing a map and a list of characteristics (e.g. temperature, day length, water availability, gravity, atmosphere composition, mountains, vegetation) of the imaginary world/environment. Posters were hung in the classroom for the gallery tour. A. The "Wild World" planet is characterized by mountains (covering the 75% of planet), rivers and active volcanoes. The climate is temperate. B. The "SEAM" planet has low gravity and it is characterized by two large islands with almost opposite environmental characteristics. The "Cold Island" with ice desert, tundra and taiga; the "Warm Island" with mountains and sandy dunes, covered by Mediterranean macchia-grassland.

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Figure 3Examples of some imaginary animals created by students. A. Scutum squamatum. Habitat: cold and wet areas (Cold Island of SEAM planet; Fig. 2B). Characteristics: bone-shield on a leg, large claws and dorsal spines to capture preys and to protect its hunting territory, a layer of fat under the scaly skin to protect from cold and as energy supply. B. Tritolaus siralis. Habitat: dry and hot areas (Warm Island of SEAM planet; Fig. 2B). Characteristics: cryptic color, ears for sound perception and thermoregulation, claws and jaws to capture and eat prey. C. Tartarus canis. Habitat: land and freshwater (Wild World; Fig. 2A). Characteristics: very long neck to reach tree leaves, flipper-legs to crawl and swim. D. Struthio becchi. Habitat: temperate areas (Wild World; Fig. 2A). Characteristics: large eggs carried in lateral bags under the wings, long beak to break seeds and to bark trees looking for insects, tail feathers to attract partners and for defence (a feather can be removed to disorientate a predator).

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