Major Science Concepts To Be Addressed

Each kind of plant and animal continues beyond the life span of the individuals because each kind is able to produce offspring.

Each generation of animals goes through changes in form from young to adult. The adult gives rise to the young of the next generation. This completed sequence of changes in form is called a life cycle.

For some types of animals, the young of the new generation are better able to live and thrive because certain kinds of care are provided to them by the adults of the previous generation.

Examples include:

* Shelter in the form of nests or homes

* Protection from other animals that are dangerous

* Food

* Warmth

* Education (humans) – training (monkeys)

The different kinds of plants and animals in an area may be dependent upon each other for food and other needs. The group of plants and animals that are dependent on each other in an area is called a community.

The plants in a given area provide the basic food supply for animals because only plants can manufacture food by utilizing the sun’s energy.

Animals that eat plants for food may in turn become food for

other animals. This sequence is called a food chain.

Dependencies among plants and animals can be complex. Different types of animals, each of which in turn may be eaten by more than one type of animal, may eat a particular plant or animal. This complex network of two or more food chains is called a food web.

The size of the population of individual kinds of plants or animals in an area is affected by the dependencies of animals on plants and other animals for food (other factors being equal).

As the food supply of some animals populations changes, the animal’s populations will tend to change. For example:

* If the rabbit and mouse populations in a given area increase, the hawk population tends to increase.

* If the algae populations in a pond increase, the fish populations tend to increase.

As the population of some animals change, the food supply of that animal’s population will tend to change. For example:

* If the deer population in a given area increases, populations of browse, such as small trees and shrubs, tend to decrease.

* If the fox population in a given area increases, the pheasant and rabbit populations tend to decrease.

Living things are affected by and affect the environment.

The life of an animal is affected by environmental conditions.

Animals health, growth, and development are affected by environmental conditions, such as:

* Food available

* Air available

* Water available

* Space available

* Shelter available

* Temperature

* Sunlight

The behavior of animals may change when environmental conditions change.

Animals obtain energy in various forms from the environment.

Animal behavior may affect the environment. For example:

* Deposition of waste materials

* Consumption of food such as prey

* Building structures such as shelters

* Destruction of vegetation

* Damming of water

* Adding carbon dioxide to the air

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