Friday, July 24, 2015

Wild Adaptations

We've had a wild week here at Camp Explorations!  This week campers learned about animals and the adaptations that help them survive.  We also partnered up with WhaleTimes, Inc. for their Creep Into the Deep program, which connected us with deep sea researchers studying bioluminescence and vision in the deep sea.  You can learn more about Creep Into the Deep, read some of their "seamails," and see pictures from the deep at the WhaleTimes, Inc. website,

We started off the week by learning the basics about adaptations.  We learned what they are and how they help animals and then explored some special adaptations of specific animals.  Green and Orange groups read the book What If You Had Animal Teeth!? and drew themselves with crazy teeth!  Ask your camper how those teeth would help them.  We also fashioned new species of fishes using traits from others.  Make sure to look at your camper's!

Flap, flap, flap!

Can you see the animals?

Hagfish slime!
On Tuesday we learned about aquatic creatures.  Campers played with Hagfish slime and learned how such an odd adaptation can be useful.  We learned about the importance of currents and about the many adaptations beavers have.  Ask your camper what they would need to wear to have the same adaptations.  Lastly, we made our own deep sea Anglerfish hats.

Watching ostracods.

Wednesday was all about predators and prey.  We dissected owl pellets to see what animals they eat and how they get rid of the parts they can't digest.  Campers learned about deep sea vision by making underwater goggles.  We learned how camouflage helps animals hide from their predators and how bioluminescence can help both predators and prey.  Watch how ostracods use their adaptation to stay alive!

A little burst of light!

What did this owl eat...?
A human-sized owl!
On Thursday we learned about nocturnal animals.  The Leslie Science and Nature Center sent over some of their feathered friends to teach how owls' adaptations help them hunt in the nighttime.  Campers learned how echolocation helps bats catch their prey, even without great vision.  Lastly, campers created their own nocturnal creatures with special features for living in the dark.

Scaring away the counselors with his talons
A nocturnal alligator slug

Deep sea gardens
Friday was all about extreme animals.  We participated in animal Olympics and created super sense animals, using senses from other extremes!  Green and Orange groups created deep sea gardens, full of animals from the depths of the ocean.  Meanwhile, Yellow and Red groups Skyped with Ruth from WhaleTimes to learn more about the expedition!

Skyping with Ruth from WhaleTimes!
Thanks for another successful week!  We've had a great time and we hope you have as well!

The Creep into the Deep program is offered by WhaleTimes where the campers will join marine biologists virtually as they explore the deep sea in the Gulf of Mexico. The Research is funded by NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, award #NA14OAR0110264

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