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Name:  George
Status: educator
Age: 30s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 9/6/2004


Question:
I'm preparing to teach a Language Arts unit titled, "Look Again: Animal Camouflage" to second graders. Students naturally question why some animals do not seem too pre-occupied with hiding themselves; i.e., a male peacock or a brightly colored macaw from a South American rain forest. How about a giant panda? How would you respond?


Replies:
It is a great opportunity to discuss possible reasons for that sort of behavior or trait to have evolved. Why do fish swim in schools? There are a number of educated guesses...I like the one where the fish inside the school are protected from predation...I have never bought the one where there is some sort of genetic drive for altruistic behavior and the schooling behavior somehow protects or advances the survival of the fish in general...at any rate it make for great discourse and if directed under the force of natural selection it can make students intellectually stronger through an excersise of sound scientific reasoning.

Pf


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