Session #2 – July 10, 2010

Began class looking through astonishing animals books to get inspiration for our designs and then we shared stories about our interactions with wild animals in real life.

Favorites from our presentation on “Top Animal Adaptations” :

ARTIFICIAL BIGNESS A lot of species in the animal kingdom try to appear larger in order to ward off predation. The blowfish, also called a puffer or balloonfish, is known for its ability to puff up to about twice its normal size in response to a predator's advance. When threatened, blowfish pump air or water into their extremely elastic stomachs to the point of being nearly spherical in shape with their spines and scales protruding. At that point they can barely move, but it doesn't usually matter since they are virtually inedible in that form.

PLAYING POSSUM When faced with danger, it is not usually a good idea to drop to the ground and lay motionless. Yet, this strategy seems to work reasonably well for the opossum. Called "playing possum," the animal will flop down on its side, go limp and begin to drool. Its eyes will then become glassy and motionless, and its tongue may loll out of its mouth, giving the overall effect of a dead animal. However, the opossum is not playing. This behavior is entirely involuntarily, and it is presumed to have evolved as a way to make predators lose interest in the animal, believing it to be already dead.

Students used their new knowledge to further their creatures' developments.

"Wait a minute, this bird dances everywhere it needs to go...?"

Then we made up a dancing game where students moved like their creatures. The bird above is called the “Klumzooka” and it jumps, plants its feet on the ground, wiggles its noodley torso, tilts its head, and freaks you out with its hypnotizing eyes. We’ll definitely include this type of movement in our final performance.

Olivia can't believe how much fun she just had dancing!

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