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Chapter 4 - Ecosystems in Balance

life_science

 

 

Unit B - Where Plants and Animals Live

Chapter 4 - Ecosystems in Balance

Examine how organisms compete and adapt in their environments and the effects that changes to an ecosystem have on the plants and animals that live there.

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Story

Going Going Gone

Today, species are becoming extinct—disappearing from our planet—at a faster rate than ever before. What's behind this increase, and what can be done to slow or stop it? 

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Hands-on Activity

Endangered Species Game

Roll snake eyes, and you're on your way to survival. Land on the extinct box, though, and you're gone. Kaput. Finis. In this board game, your very survival is at stake! 

They-Glow

Video

They Glow!

Most of the deep sea is very dark, with little or no sunlight. But that doesn't mean marine animals are in the dark! Learn how these clever creatures create their own light.

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Interactive

Bio-Benefits

Can you imagine living on a planet without biodiversity? What in the world would you wear—or eat? See how biodiversity gives us many of life's necessities. 

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Story

Saving Species

Take a world-wide tour of biodiversity. You'll meet mollusks in the reefs off the Bahamas, the aye-aye in the tropical forests of Madagascar, and the clever mimic-ant spider that lives in Australia.

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Classroom Activity, Hands-on Activity

Water vs. Land

Brainstorm with your students a list of things that are possible in water that are not possible on land, and vice versa.

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Hands-on Activity

Crazy Camouflage

Unlike humans, some animals can instantly change the color or pattern of their skin. Take a hands-on look at how the masters of disguise known as flounders can don several different looks.

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Activity

Create a Polar Creature

Ice floes, katabatic winds, and subzero temperatures—welcome to life in Antarctica. What features would your ideal creature have to thrive in this extreme habitat?

Red Frog

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Poison-Dart Frogs: Nature's Touch-Me-Nots

For centuries, Latin America's poison-dart frogs have helped hunters capture their prey. Today, they're also helping scientists combat disease. Take a close (safe!) look at these vividly colored frogs with this 15-year-old student.

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Article, Online Resource

Reefs in Crisis

Humans have harmlessly harvested coral reefs for thousands—or even hundreds of thousands—of years. So why has our behavior in recent years suddenly put reefs at risk?

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