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Dirtmeister's Science ReportersAnimal Adaptations
1. Investigate the Facts
2. Observe & Record
3. Report Your Findings
4. Read Sample Reports
4. Read Kids' Reports
Kids around the country are getting the dirt on animal adaptations. Check out some examples of what they've found. How do their findings compare to yours?

Andy W., Grade 4, NC

This animal has sharp claws to climb tall trees. Its black marks under its eyes are probably for blocking out the sun. They are also for camouflage against its enemies. These uses are mostly physical. If the raccoon did not have its sharp claws it could not climb trees and cover for protection. If it did not have its black marks for camouflage it could not hunt as easy. Many other animals have similar adaptations. For example: squirrels, and opossums.

White Tailed Deer
Aubrie P., Grade 2, IL

The female white tailed deer raises its tail up in the air to signal the fawn of danger. The mother also stamps her foot to signal her fawn. These adaptations are behavioral. The fawns could get eaten and die out because they can't run that fast when they are just born. Squirrels signal danger to other squirrels by chattering.

Daniel P., Grade 3, NY

The beaver is well adapted to life in the water. Its special tail helps it to swim and its thick coat of fur keeps the beaver warm in cold water. These adaptations are physical because the beaver did not learn these adaptations, it was born with them. The problems the beaver might face without these adaptations are freezing to death in cold water and being caught by a predator if it could not swim. The muskrat has similar adaptations because both animals have a thick coat of fur and they also build dome shaped homes in the water to be safe from predators.

Gabe & Joe, Grade 2, MI

The cardinal's special adaptation is its beak which it uses to break up food. The adaptation is both a physical part and a behavior. It's physical because you can see it and feel it, and it's a behavior because it uses it to eat. It could not eat and it might not be able to fight its predators. A Chickadee and other birds have beaks.

Maria L., Grade 3, KY

The squirrel has claws to climb trees and to grasp things, the squirrel has teeth to crack open nuts, and whenever a person tries to catch a squirrel, the squirrel scampers up a tree. The adaptations of my animal are physical and behavior because claws and teeth are physical and scampering up a tree is a part of behavior to the squirrel. If the squirrel didn't have claws, the squirrel couldn't climb trees, crack open nuts or grasp things, and if the squirrel didn't have teeth the squirrel couldn't eat. The squirrel might face problems like being caught by other animals, and people would catch squirrels and kill them and then the squirrels might become endangered or extinct. Yes, the beaver has similar adaptations to the squirrel.

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