Let's Talk with Paula Mikkelsen about Marine Invertebrates and How They Move
Clams that bounce up and down like yo-yos, others that balloon their foot with blood, and squids that zip around using jet propulsion—the ocean's filled with remarkable creatures on the move!
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In this Q&A interview, available both online and as a printable PDF, Paula Mikkelsen talks about her work as a malacologist and curator at the AMNH. She answers nearly 20 questions, including:
- Why is the way different organisms move around in the ocean an interesting thing to study?
- Are certain kinds of locomotion necessary at different points in an organism's life cycle?
- What got you hooked on studying mollusks?
- How do you obtain specimens?
- Did you ever find something really unexpected during the course of fieldwork?
- What books would you recommend for kids interested in mollusks?
Less than 1 period
Supplement a study of ocean life with an activity drawn from this profile of a malacologist.
- Send students to this online interview, or print copies of it for them to read.
- Ask students: Besides swimming, what are some other ways organisms move around in the ocean? List their answers on the board.
- Have students select a mollusk to research, learning more about its method(s) of movement as well as its eating habits and other behavior.
- Then, have students create a flip book that shows their mollusk in action.