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Name: _______________________________

Block: _______

Date: _________________________

Bird Bill Adaptation Lab Purpose: To study the relationship between adaptations and habitats by simulating birds with different beaks competing for a variety of food. Background: In any habitat, food is limited and the types of foods available may vary. Animals that have traits that enable them to take advantage of available foods are more likely to survive. We call beneficial inherited variations adaptations. Adaptations are inherited traits that increase an organisms chance of survival. Those with the most helpful adaptations will be the most likely to live long enough to pass their genes to the next generation. This process ensures that beneficial adaptations will continue in future generations, while disadvantageous characteristics will not. Objective: Identify which bird beak goes with which environment. Prediction: Read over the procedure and look over the materials. Match the beak with the type of food/habitat you think it has adapted for. A. B. C. D. E. Tweezers (chiseled bill) Spoon (scooping bill) Tongs (flat, filtering bill) Pipette (long tubular bill) Pliers (heavy conical bill) ___ Garden: nectar in flowers ___ Pond: shallow water, food floating at top ___ Mudflat: organisms in the mud/sand ___ Prairie: scattered seeds ___ Forest: stumps with bugs within

Procedure: 1. Go to a habitat and read about how to get the food there. 2. Take a plastic cup. This is your stomach. It is to stay in one hand, upright at all times. 3. Pick up the provided tool (beak). You will use this to pick food up with to place into your stomach in each habitat. 4. When I say go, you will have 20 seconds to use your beak to extract as much food one at a time as you can from a habitat and place it in your stomach. Only food that makes it into the stomach in the allotted time in the proper way will be considered eaten. 5. If you cheat or are rowdy, you can observe from the sidelines or wait in the greenhouse. 6. When time ends, count how many pieces of food you got and record it in the data table in the individual column. Share the numbers with the other students at your table, find the average, and record that too. 7. Put the food back into the habitat and clean off your beak. 8. Move onto the next habitat. Repeat steps 4-7. Continue until you have visited every habitat. 9. Send someone from your group to the board to write down the averages while the rest tidy the table and return the beaks. 10. Copy down the class averages into your table. Circle the results that show the best beak in each habitat and then answer the discussion questions. Data Table: Record the amount of food each beak got in each kind of habitat. Garden Pond Mudflat Prairie ind. avg. ind. avg. ind. avg. ind. avg. Tweezers Spoon Tongs Pipette Pliers

Forest ind. avg.

Results: Did the results match your hypothesis? Were there any surprises?

Explain why the bill you used works well in its habitat.

Discussion Questions: 1. What if the Swedish fish in the mudflats were 4x more nutritious than any other food item. How might this affect the feeding habits/survival of the birds whose beaks arent ideally adapted to eat them?

2. What would happen if all the birds flew to an island where there were only sunflower seeds? Who would survive best? Who would have the least chance of survival?

3. If we came back to this same island in 50 years, what type(s) of birds might you expect to see? Why? Vocab: inherit, adaptation, survival, genes

4. How do adaptations form?