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Question Set: Adaptations
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts
NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas
Table of Contents
  1. All cetacean species are considered obligate swimmers because they are restricted to aquatic habitats. Unlike seals, whales cannot live on land.
    1. What are some physical adaptations that help cetaceans survive in water?
    2. How do these adaptations compare with those of other marine mammals that are not obligate swimmers?
  2. The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is the only extant species in the bear family considered to be a marine mammal.
    1. What makes the polar bear marine in nature?
    2. How is this species adapted to life in and around the ocean?
    3. How are polar bears adapted to survive in the cold arctic?
  3. The fins of a dolphin look roughly similar to those found on sharks. However, a shark is a type of fish while a dolphin is a type of mammal. Describe the evolutionary relationship between dolphins and sharks.
  4. The sea otter and the marine otter are some of the only marine mammal species without blubber. How have these otter species adapted to maintain a stable body temperature in a coastal marine environment?
  5. Diving physiology in marine mammals
    1. What are some of the physical challenges faced by deep-diving marine mammals?
    2. What adaptations have allowed them to succeed?
Exploring Our Fluid Earth, a product of the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG), College of Education. University of Hawaii, 2011. This document may be freely reproduced and distributed for non-profit educational purposes.