Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What's so funny!?!

Yesterday I assigned the class a challenging question to reflect upon. Why do we laugh? What purpose does humor serve us and why did we evolve to have it? I thought we had some great responses to that question, but also know that some people really struggled to think of the ways that it might benefit people. Is it possible that it serves absolutely no purpose? Perhaps it is what it is and we shouldn't over-analyze it. Possibly.

Here is an article written on the subject for those of you who are curious. Why Do We Laugh?
Read this and comment on it for extra credit.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Indicator Species!

Some animals can act as an early warning system to environmental scientists that there is a problem brewing in an ecosystem. For example, back in the 1800s, coal miners used to take caged canaries into the mines with them. The birds would sing and chirp often. However, if the bird stopped singing it was an early indication that there might be poisonous gases in the mine that would be harmful to the miners. This system would allow the miners to evacuate the mine before the poisonous gases killed the miners. Environmental scientists can look out for certain animals in an ecosystem which will give them an indication as to the health of that region. Birds and butterflies are excellent indicator species because they can be affected quickly by environmental changes.


Go to the following website: Marietta College: Biome Study

On the map, click on one of the biomes.

Read about the indicator species (plants and animals) of that region.

Write a few sentences about the indicator species of that region.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


As we look at all of the different biomes and the amazing adaptations that animals have acquired in order to survive in the most challenging of environments, we need to pause every now and then and appreciate the slimiest of those organisms.

Watch the video about the Lungfish. Write a comment (1-2 sentences) about the video. Then describe a creature in the biome that you are studying that also has an amazing adaptation.