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Science_Lab_Yellow / Lesson 4: Habitats Change

Habitats Change
What will we be learning today?

  • In this lesson, we are going to learn all about what happens when habitats change.

What Happens When Habitats Change?

  • The world is a place of changes. One day the weather may be dry and cold. The next day it may be wet and warm. Heavy rains may drench the land one spring and summer.

  • The next year's spring and summer may have cloudless skies day after day. This makes habitats change. A good habitat for a certain organism at one time may be a threatening one at another time.

  • How do populations survive difficult times?

The Eastern Spadefoot Toad

  • The eastern spadefoot toad lives on the Blackland Prairie.

  • This animal reproduces in water and needs water for its daily life.

  • What happens if a drought strikes the Blacklands?

  • A close look at the toad's hind feet provided scientists with a clue to the answer. Its hind feet are shaped like little spades. They are adapted for digging.

  • That's just what the spadefoot toad does when water is scarce. It digs into the ground and covers itself with soil. This toad can absorb water through its skin. There's a lot of clay in Blacklands soil, and clay holds water well.

  • Usually there is some water in the soil, even though there may not be any water above it. The toad may be able to survive in the soil even during a drought

  • The eastern spadefoot toad can survive in a dry, hot habitat by burrowing into the soil and absorbing water through its skin.

American Bald Eagles

  • Many years ago there were bald eagles on the Blackland Prairie of Texas. Then they disappeared. A few have returned recently, especially around the lakes created by damming rivers. Why did the eagles disappear for a while?

  • Scientists carefully analyzed data to discover one reason why bald eagles may have vanished from the skies above the Blackland Prairie.

    • Bald eagles were once common on the Blackland Prairie.

    Let's Review What We Learned Today!

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