Tuesday, December 15, 2009


In order for an organisms to survive it needs to have all of the resources available that it's body needs. The habitat that it lives in must provide appropriate levels of water, light, temperature, and a supply of food. This appropriate combination of factors is called a "niche." Some organisms have developed adaptations that require them to be dependent on other organisms. Mutualism, an example of this, is when two species benefit from a relationship with each other. Ocellaris clownfish live in the tentacles of Ritteri sea anemones. The fish cleans the tentacles for the anemone and the anemone protects the fish from predators.

Watch the video about mutualism. Comment about the example of mutualism discussed in the film or go above and beyond and research another example of mutualism and comment on it.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Today we begin a new unit titled "Ecology." Ecology is the study of the interactions that take place between organisms and their environment. All living things on the planet have developed adaptations that allow them to survive in their environments and organisms have found ways to live in almost every part of the biosphere. Ecologists are people who study these organisms and spend a lot of time asking questions about what influences their ability to survive. For example, an ecologist might study the warty newt and discover that it's warty complexion is due to a "milky, acrid-smelling substance" that is used to discourage predators from feasting on them. That ecologist might go on to ask the question, "what part of the warty newts diet influences the milky, acrid-smelling substance?" Since the warty newt is endangered, understanding its diet may help to keep it from going extinct.


Go to the following website: National Geographic

On the right side is a menu for all of the animals that National Geographic has in their data base. Pick one or two animals and read about them.

After reading about the animal, write four questions about the animal as if you are an ecologist studying it.