Friday, November 11, 2016

Seals and Sea Cows

In Lesson 3 of Apologia's Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day curriculum, we learned all about "Seals and Sea Cows."  We started our reading on pinnipeds and learned that when these creatures move onto land, the term for it is "haul out," as it takes a great effort to get their big, heavy bodies out of the water.  (A walrus actually uses its tusks to help it haul out!)  We learned about what they eat, how they raise their families (in rookeries), and what threatens them.  We also talked about the differences between true seals and eared seals.
After all of this great reading, we did a lot of work in our notebooking journal.
 Love it!
 Who doesn't love kids' drawings?!
 The next day, we learned all about walruses, manatees, and dugongs.  It was interesting to learn about how and why walruses change color!  And Maggie loved hearing how manatees greet each other with big kisses!  We did some more notebooking work after that to record what we had learned.
Next, we read Sleek Seals by Jason Blake.  In it, we learned that seals have no taste buds!
This is a PRECIOUS video from YouTube ( that shows a mother walrus and her calf.  Maggie and I loved it.

We also enjoyed making the pinniped minibooks for her journal!
After all that reading and recording, it was time for an experiment, the "Blubber" experiment outlined in the book!  First, we placed one gloved hand into an ice cold water bath and timed how long she could stand the cold water before removing her hand.
She lasted for 19.59 seconds!
Next, we put a layer of "fat" on a glove (we used both petroleum jelly and vegetable shortening), then covered the fat layer with a second glove to create a limb that would simulate one like a pinniped's, covered in blubber.  She thought it felt pretty gross, even though her skin wasn't touching the "blubber" directly.
It was time for that one to go in the water bath!
The result?  41.21 seconds, more than twice the time of the hand without "blubber!"
This experiment helped her to better understand how pinnipeds are able to stand such extremely cold temperatures!  We recorded our findings in our notebooking journal.
Finally for Lesson 3, we made a couple of pinnipeds (a sea lion and a walrus) for our ocean box!  First, we made a salt dough island to sit on top of our box.
Then, we painted it white to look like a big ice block.
Next, Maggie molded a little walrus out of modeling clay.
So cute!
Her Daddy shaped a sea lion for her.
Both of these went on top of our salt dough island on top of our ocean box!
Love it!
Next up?  Aquatic herps!  Check back!

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