Species Interactions


              Know 15 animal tracks. Do they intersect, tell a story? We'll be heading outside after a fresh snow and see whose been there. Here are some hints in identifying and memorizing tracks.

  • Note the number of toes- raccoon have five while cats and dogs have ________.
  • Are claws present? How would you describe the general shape of the print?
    • Does a bobcat or a dog show toenails?
  • Study the stride of the prints.
    • Aboral animals (like squirrels) have ________ prints while ground dwelling creatures' prints (like rabbits) are askew.
    • The difference between coyote prints and dog prints are that coyotes walk straight and they _________ register at a trot- their front paws land directly on the same place as the back prints did.

Prints to know:

Coyote, Dog, Black Bear, Gray Squirrel, Cottontail Rabbit, White Tailed Deer, Bobcat, Northern Racoon, Great Blue Heron, Blue Jay, Woodpecker, Canada Goose, Striped Skunk, Mouse and Beaver.

Plant and Animal Interrelationships:

  • Predation- a relationship between animals in which one organism ________ on another.
  • Competitive exclusion- species who utilize the ________ resources cannot coexist indefinitely- every animal has its own niche.
  • Resource partitioning- resources are _________, permitting species with similar requirements to use the same resources in different areas, ways and/or times.
    ~Activity: Quick, Frozen Critters

Predator Tricks

Assassin Bug
Ambush Bug

Evasive prey tricks

Camouflage- Spittlebugs, Leaf Mantis Butterfly
Nasty odor- Stink Bugs
Poisons in body tissue- Monarch Butterfly
Harmless mimic of Monarch (Batesian Mimicry)- Viceroy Butterfly
Different species resembling each other and BOTH having poisons (Muellerian Mimicry)- Poison Dart Frogs
Spines- Fire Caterpillar, Puss Caterpillar
Eyespots on wings (Self-mimicry)- Butterflies

Types of Symbiosis:

                          Rhinosaurus and cattle egrets
                          Shark and remora
                          Oak trees and Spanish moss
                          Clown fish and anemones
                          Acacia trees and Ants                        
                          Tropical Round worms and Ms. Law
                           Bison and Sunday School Teachers

~Activity: Good Buddies