The Year 7 Science LEAP class has been busy learning about classification and ecology this term.
We created dichotomous keys to classify leaves from the school yard and we completed a fish and prawn dissection to investigate the difference between vertebrate and invertebrate skeletal structures. We classified organisms according to taxonomic levels and learnt about some of the first Australian Scientists - The Anangu people who are the traditional landowners of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
We also participated in the Melbourne Water River Detectives program, undertaking water testing at the Taylors Creek Linear Reserve. Students completed an ecological survey of the wetlands system, analysing abiotic and biotic factors, constructing a food web of endemic organisms and researching the background of the area, including human impacts.
Please take the time to look at some of the Sway Blogs below documenting students work to find out more about our local environment.
Blue Mackerel and King Prawn Dissection – Claire Reemus
Compare the body features of a fish and a prawn
Q. What can you conclude about the classification of a king prawn vs a blue mackerel?
A King Prawn has an exoskeleton and is an invertebrate. We didn’t spend too much time of the king prawn and focused more on the blue mackerel. A blue mackerel has a spine meaning that it has an endo skeleton and making it a vertebrate. The organs that we were able to take out were interesting. The stomach was smaller than I thought it would have been. The gills were also harder and bigger than expected. It was interesting to explore further.
King Prawn’s skeleton is made out of a sugar type called chitin. This prawn shares the same/similar skeleton as crabs, crustaceans and lobsters. Just like every other exoskeleton, it protects the animal’s organs, muscles and supports it body. An exoskeleton covers the whole body which is how the prawn is protected.
The Blue Mackerels skeleton, bones and scales were blueish-green in colour. The fish’s skeleton are made out of bone*. A fishes fins are made of bony fin rays. The fins do not directly touch the spine. It is also supported by muscles.
The first Australian scientists – Jacob Walsh 1. Five animals the Anangu people ate are sand goanna, perentie, emu, woma python and kangaroo. Five plants the Anangu people ate are the Wanari tree, Wangunu grass, Kunakanti grass, Kaltu grass and Mangata trees.
2. The early explorers struggled to find food because of the harsh landscape, and because they weren’t nomadic or great hunters.
3. Living things
4. The Anangu people devised a system of classification for the natural habitats around them because it helped them know where to find certain foods and shelter
5. Five mammals found in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park are the brush-tailed mulgara, dingo, mala (rufous hare-wallaby), red kangaroo and spinifex hopping mouse. Five reptiles found in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park are the sand goanna, thorny devil, woma python, blue tongue lizard and three-lined knob-tailed gecko. Five birds found in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park are the rainbow bee-eater, red-backed kingfisher, grey-headed honeyeater, pied butcherbird and splendid fairy-wren. Five invertebrates found in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park are shield shrimps, snails, orb-web weaver spiders, wolf spiders and huntsmen spiders.
6. Amphibians would find it difficult to live in arid environments because of the skin which is vulnerable to sunlight and water loss. Nocturnal animals may also struggle to survive in arid environments.
7. The bilby has a rear facing pouch so their pouch doesn’t fill with dirt while they are digging.
8. Monotremes would find it difficult to breed in arid environments because they have trouble maintaining a constant body temperature in extreme conditions because they are endothermic.
9. Mammals that can be found in Australia’s arid environments are the greater bilby (Macrotis lagotis), a marsupial, the black-flanked rock-wallaby (Petrogale lateralis), a marsupial, the brush-tailed mulgara (Dasycercus cristicauda), a marsupial, the dingo (Canis lupus dingo), a placental, the rufous hare-wallaby (Lagorchestes hirsutus), a marsupial, the red kangaroo (Macropus rufus), a marsupial, the southern marsupial mole (Notoryctes typhlops), a marsupial, the spinifex hopping mouse (Notomys alexis), a placental, and many more.