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Colorful Critters
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The goal of this lesson is to introduce students to the advantages behind the colors and patterns displayed on Wisconsin critters using a collection of photos from Snapshot Wisconsin, a citizen science project utilizing a statewide network of trail cameras. This lesson plan includes an optional outdoor activity.

Subject:
Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
Career and Technical Education
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Life Science
Zoology
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Date Added:
05/08/2019
Creating Chains and Webs to Model Ecological Relationships
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In this hands-on activity, students will identify producers and consumers their own state of Wisconsin. Using a set of “Snapshot cards,” they will then create a food chain to show the flow of energy in that system, introduce an ecological force or disturbance (e.g., flooding), and predict how that force would impact energy flow. Lastly, students will construct a more complex model of the flow of energy by depicting multiple relationships in a food web and again make a prediction about the impact of introducing an ecological force.

Subject:
Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
Career and Technical Education
Ecology
Environmental Science
Life Science
Zoology
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Date Added:
05/08/2019
CreatureCast – Anurida
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CC BY-NC-ND
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To many, Anurida maritima are the clusters of blue specks in rocky tide pools. Upon closer inspection, these specks are intertidal arthropods, with the ability to survive periods of high-tide submersion thanks to their hydrophobic hair and cuticle.

Subject:
Life Science
Zoology
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
Dunn Lab at Brown University
Provider Set:
CreatureCast
Author:
Pablo Ortiz
Date Added:
03/18/2016
CreatureCast – Diving for Jellies
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Here in the Dunn lab, siphonophores are our favorite animal and the focus of much of our research. Dr. Phil Pugh is a good friend of the lab, and he also happens to have described more new species of siphonophores than anyone who has ever lived. In the video below, he describes what it’s like to come across a siphonophore in the deep sea with a submarine. What looks like one long body in this video is actually a free-swimming colony of clones — many genetically identical bodies that are all attached. But each body in the group isn’t just like its neighbor. They each do a specific job for the colony. Some individuals will swim, some will catch food, and some will reproduce.

Subject:
Biology
Life Science
Zoology
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
Dunn Lab at Brown University
Provider Set:
CreatureCast
Date Added:
01/22/2018
CreatureCast – Doliolids
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CC BY-NC-SA
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Robert Sandler tells the story of doliolid reproduction. The video was made with paper puppets and hand-drawn animations. Robert made this episode with support from the Society of Royce Fellows.

Subject:
Biology
Life Science
Zoology
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
Dunn Lab at Brown University
Provider Set:
CreatureCast
Author:
Robert Sandler
Date Added:
09/08/2012
CreatureCast – Foraminifera
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Connor McGuigan, an invertebrate zoology student, describes Astrammina rara: a giant, carnivorous cell that lives in Antarctic waters. This foraminiferan is a unicellular organism that can capture and eat animals much larger than it.

Subject:
Life Science
Zoology
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
Dunn Lab at Brown University
Provider Set:
CreatureCast
Author:
Connor McGuigan
Date Added:
01/22/2016
CreatureCast- Jellyfish Theater
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CC BY-NC-SA
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In this video, Trisha Towanda talks about one particular jellyfish, the fried egg jelly, and some of the other creatures that hang around it. There are moon jellies that the fried egg jelly eats. These moon jellies have little parasitic crustaceans on them called amphipods, which jump to the fried egg jelly while the moon jelly is being eaten. There are also crabs that ride around on the fried egg jelly, that are parasitic in their youth, but then grow to be helpful symbionts by eating off the little amphipods. This sort of coming of age story, where a symbiont’s relationship changes over its lifespan is an unusual one. Trisha put the pieces together by staring at them for hours and days and weeks when she was in Erik Thuessen‘s lab at Evergreen State College.

Subject:
Biology
Life Science
Zoology
Material Type:
Lecture
Reading
Provider:
Dunn Lab at Brown University
Provider Set:
CreatureCast
Date Added:
01/22/2018
CreatureCast - Mating When You are Stuck to a Rock
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If you are stuck to a rock it is tricky to get close enough to a partner to mate. One solution to this problem would be to release eggs or sperm into the open water, which is what many animals in this situation do. Acorn barnacles (Semibalanus balanoides), however, found a different solution. They have evolved the longest penis relative to their body size of any animal. In this video the penises of several barnacles are probing the neighborhood for mates. The penis is re-grown each mating season.

Subject:
Biology
Life Science
Zoology
Material Type:
Lecture
Reading
Provider:
Dunn Lab at Brown University
Provider Set:
CreatureCast
Date Added:
11/06/2009
CreatureCast – Multicellularity
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CC BY-NC-SA
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Sophia Tintori and Cassandra Extavour talk about the evolution and development of multicellular organisms, and in particular the specialization of reproductive cells.

Subject:
Biology
Life Science
Zoology
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
Dunn Lab at Brown University
Provider Set:
CreatureCast
Author:
Cassandra Extavour
Sophia Tintori
Date Added:
10/14/2009
CreatureCast – Narcomedusae
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CC BY-NC-SA
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Riley Thompson made this animation about the fascinating lifecycle of narco babies. We usually don’t think of babies that grow inside their mothers as parasites, but sometimes the lines get very blurry. This is especially true in Narcomedusae, a group of poorly known jellyfish found throughout the world’s oceans.

Subject:
Biology
Life Science
Zoology
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
Dunn Lab at Brown University
Provider Set:
CreatureCast
Author:
Riley Thompson
Date Added:
01/22/2018
CreatureCast – Ocean Slime
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CC BY-NC-SA
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Robert Sandler tells the story of ocean slime, using stop motion and jellyfish puppets. Robert made this episode with support from the Society of Royce Fellows.

Subject:
Biology
Life Science
Zoology
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
Dunn Lab at Brown University
Provider Set:
CreatureCast
Author:
Robert Sandler
Date Added:
09/08/2012
CreatureCast – PhyloTree
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CC BY-NC-SA
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This video demonstrates some of the features of PhyloTree. It then shows the early explosive discovery of mammal species (most major mammal groups were discovered early on), and then shows the slow and steady discovery of cnidarians (many cnidarians remain to be described). The tool can also be used to quickly find the first species that was described in a group. The first siphonophore to be described, for example, was Physalia physalis (the Portuguese man o’ war).

Subject:
Biology
Life Science
Zoology
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
Dunn Lab at Brown University
Provider Set:
CreatureCast
Author:
Casey Dunn
Date Added:
01/22/2018
CreatureCast - Six Tips for Achieving Invisibility
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC-SA
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Here is a semi-interactive video (with the option of a single, non-interactive video here) from CreatureCast alum Sophia Tintori, featuring tips from a handful of ocean-dwellers that each have drastically different approaches to being invisible.

Subject:
Biology
Life Science
Zoology
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
Dunn Lab at Brown University
Provider Set:
CreatureCast
Author:
Sophia Tintori
Date Added:
04/15/2013
Critter Catalog: Creating a Field Guide to Animals
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CC BY-NC-SA
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This activity will help students learn about Minnesota animals and characteristics that distinguish them from one another.

Subject:
Life Science
Zoology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Pedagogy in Action
Date Added:
02/10/2023
Designing and Carrying Out Your Very Own Animal Behavior Experiment
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These are resources that will provide teachers with further information on the isopods used in the experiments.

Subject:
Life Science
Zoology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Pedagogy in Action
Author:
Mark Stefanski
Date Added:
02/10/2023
Determining Bird Populations Through Counting
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CC BY-NC-SA
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This activity is a field investigation where students gather population data on bird species. The students will create bar graphs and interpret their findings. Based on their experiences and data, they will write an answer to the guiding question.

Subject:
Life Science
Zoology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Pedagogy in Action
Author:
Michelle Dahlby
Date Added:
02/10/2023