We don't have Zoology books at our school. Shape of Life has been a life saver! Thanks so much for making resources available to everyone.
Shape of Life offers classroom videos depicting the evolution of the animal kingdom on planet earth. Students and educators explore animal adaptation, animations, and behaviors along with the amazing scientists who bring their stories to life. We also offer a rich selection of NGSS materials including lesson plans, readings, illustrations and activities that inspire a deeper dive into the animal phyla. Shape of Life content is FREE to students and educators all over the world.
Shape of Life is Celebrating Women in Science!
Gail Kaaialii, Marine Biologist: A success Story: Echinoderms
Your students will explore the evolution of the phylum Chordata by constructing a “family tree”—a diagram of evolutionary traits and animals, using cards showing Chordate traits. After watching the Chordate Shape of Life video, students revise their diagrams and add information, including examples of modern animals that exhibit the traits.
- Students will create evolutionary family trees.
- Students will understand and discuss key characteristics of chordate species orally and in writing.
- - Students will explain how common ancestry and biological evolution are supported by multiple lines of empirical evidence.
HAVE FUN exploring your family tree.
Telling the Story of Us in Our Planet
If you step outside Nicole Crane’s office at Cabrillo College, you see the Monterey Bay. When Nicole isn’t teaching about ocean science, she wears her marine scientist hat and leads a project in a faraway part of the same ocean — in Micronesia.
Although Kasie didn’t really like chemistry in school-- “I hated Chemistry!”-- she knew that water quality has a huge impact on how animals survive in different environments. We feel incredibly fortunate to have Kasie’s innovative and energetic approach to sustaining water quality at our prized Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Learn more about Kasie’s long and winding road to our beautiful backyard.
Ranging 2”to 9’ feet, earthworms move miles and miles of earth for us. As children, many of us discovered earthworms while playing in the dirt. We either loved them or thought they were gross—but, their role on our planet is undeniably essential. Earthworms are very important recyclers—a role Charles Darwin recognized. In fact, his last published book in 1881 was about earthworm behavior and ecology.
Earthworms are decomposers: they eat and break down dead plant and animal material in the soil. As they burrow, ingest dirt and poop, they turn the soil and put nutrients back into it.
Guest post by Heidi Cullen, MBARI
A just-released scientific report connects a host of ocean changes with human activities that take place largely on land. The report makes clear that to protect the ocean, we must first reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. But we must also reduce ocean stresses caused by overfishing and pollution, so the ocean is healthy enough to weather the changes already underway.
In this article by Heidi Cullen we'll delve deeper into the connections between climate degradation and human behavior-- and, how building awareness may help mitigate the degradation.
At the annual meeting of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums we had an interesting conversation with the Director of Veterinary Services and Director of Applied Water Science at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The Vet, Dr. Mike Murray, told us he had an unusual medical case, not the usual bird, sea otter or fish, but sick sand dollars. Dr. Mike loves invertebrates (as we do) and wanted to find out what was ailing the animals. Pathology revealed no bacteria or viral infections. So, he turned to Kasie Regnier, in charge of water quality science at the aquarium.
Nancy Burnett, Founder & Director, Shape of Life
HEY! That was fun seeing you all at NSTA Salt Lake City. Please join us this spring at the National NSTA Conference in Boston April 2 - 5, 2020