Cnidarian Adaptations: Exploring the Roots of Animal Adaptations

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In this lesson plan students explore the origins of muscles, nerves, and other animal adaptations through a study of the fascinating phylum Cnidaria (nahy-dare-ee-uh). They will have the opportunity to observe the predatory organisms, including sea anemones and jellies and their amazing adaptations that they use to catch prey, defend themselves, etc. in one or more Shape of Life video segments. Students will record notes about physical and behavioral adaptations, then create a diagram of their favorite cnidarian species, labeling its structures and adding annotations to describe their functions. Possible extensions are listed at the end of the lesson, including a comparison activity and field studies.

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