Build-a-Beast Activity

Prey animals generally live shorter, faster lives compared to predators. Consider both the animal and its foraging or hunting styles. 1 - leaves from plants; is a ...
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Build-a-Beast Activity To "build a beast," first roll a die for each category to determine the conditions under which the animal lives. These conditions can provide scientists with many clues about the animal’s lifespan. Draw your animal, then guess its lifespan based on the rolled-for conditions. A) HOW BIG IS THE ANIMAL? Smaller animals tend to have higher metabolisms and faster heart rates than large animals, which generally leads to a shorter lifespan. For example, an elephant shrew might live for three years, while an elephant might live for 60 years. 1 - the size of a mouse 2 - the size of a weasel 3 - the size of a dog 4 - the size of a horse 5 - the size of an elephant 6 - the size of a large whale B) WHAT DOES IT EAT? Prey animals generally live shorter, faster lives compared to predators. Consider both the animal and its foraging or hunting styles. 1 - leaves from plants; is a prey species 2 - ground-dwelling insects; is a prey species 3 - berries, plants, and small animals; is a predator species 4 - water animals; is a predator species and a prey species 5 - swift running deer-like animals; is a predator species 6 - flying insects; is a predator species and a prey species C) IS IT WARM OR COLD-BLOODED? Cold-blooded animals, or poikilotherms, tend to live longer lives than warm-blooded animals. Their lifespan is also temperature-dependent. When cold-blooded animals are exposed to a cold environment, their metabolisms slow down and they live longer. 1 - cold-blooded 2 - warm-blooded 3 - cold-blooded 4 - warm-blooded 5 - cold-blooded 6 - warm-blooded

D) DOES IT HIBERNATE? Hibernation slows down an animal’s metabolism and extends its lifespan compared to those that do not hibernate. There are two kinds of hibernators. Obligate hibernators annually enter hibernation regardless of temperature or availability of food. Facultative hibernators only enter hibernation when either cold-stressed or food deprived. Some species go through hibernation-like states rather than full hibernation. Many birds utilize torpor, decreased physiological activity lasting less than 24-hours (daily torpor) or lasting days to weeks. Fish are ectothermic and cannot hibernate because they cannot regulate their temperature or metabolism. Instead, some fish go into dormancy in cold or low-oxygen environments. Hibernation, torpor, and dormancy can all extend the lifespan of an animal. 1 - is an obligate hibernator 2 - is a facultative hibernator 3 - experiences daily torpor 4 - experiences extended torpor 5 - enters periods of dormancy 6 - does not hibernate D) WHAT ARE ITS LIVING CONDITIONS? Animals like house pets or those that are kept in zoos and aquariums have potentially longer lifespans than their wild counterparts due to safety from predation and the elements, and access to medical care. 1 - lives inside with a human to feed and care for it 2 - lives in the woods behind a suburban home 3 - lives in a tropical rainforest 4 - lives in the desert 5 - lives in a zoo 6 - lives in a pineapple under the sea D) WHO DOES THIS ANIMAL LIVE WITH? Scientists hypothesize that living in social groups may extend the lifespan of some animals. 1 - is a roving bachelor 2 - is a pair-bonded individual 3 - lives in a small family group of three to five individuals 4 - lives in a large family group of 20-30 individuals 5 - lives in a large herd 6 - lives in a subterranean colony