Assume that millions of generations ago, there was a species of rat that looked much like the picture given to the right. Members of this species were eventually isolated on different islands as geologic change occurred. Assume that over millions of generations your rat has evolved adaptations that are an advantage in the specific island environment described below. The purpose of this activity is to brainstorm how a species may evolved based on adapting to the environment and connecting species in the habitat to components in a ecosystem.
- Identify your habitat (or write the full description) in your PowerPoint so I know (e.g. Island 1 and copy and paste description).
- Design a rat that has adapted to the environment of the island, creating a new species of rat. Describe at least four physical adaptations (how it looks) and one behavioral adaptation (how it acts) and why they are beneficial to the rat. You can get 2 points extra credit if you draw your rat adaptations (this doesn’t mean find a picture of a rodent that happens to look exactly how you want your rat to be, only 1 point if drawing is a very poor representation).
- Post photos of the island habitat, including island, water, plants, animals, etc. using real photos online. I should get a feeling of what your island description says.
- Post answers to “What’s on the Island?” based on your habitat. This means these are organisms in your habitat. The only liberty will be decomposers since most don’t explicitly list something that is a decomposer.
Directions: Just using the organisms in your Rat Island ecosystem (including the rat), give an example of each of the following:
Note: If the organisms given don’t fit a certain category, state that and give a possible likely organism based on the ecosystem.
- Producer –
- Consumer –
- Predator –
- Prey –
- Scavenger –
- Decomposer –
- Abiotic factor –
- Biotic factor –
- Limiting factor –
Description of Island:
The island is fairly flat, with an occasional hill. The ground is soft dirt, and several species of shrubs grow towards the center of the island. There is no animal life on land; but the water is teaming with fish. The island is surrounded by a coral reef which keeps the predators out. The shore is sandy with no algal growth. Fresh water is available.