Fecal Matter From Different Animals
There are different images of scat from different animals found in Iowa and videos of these animals eating. Students should be able to examine the scat to determine evolutionary relationships in the animals.
Possible Guiding, Compelling and/or Anchoring Questions
- Why does the scat look like that?
- Why do the deer and rabbit scat look so different from the coyote and raccoon scat?
- How can you use scat to determine an animal’s role in the ecosystem?
- This could be an opener or an anchor for students to compare digestive systems and foraging behaviors in animals. Students can then construct phylogenetic trees/cladograms based on the evolutionary relationships between the organisms.
- NOVA Labs: Evolution Lab: Students can make cladograms with given information for multiple different organisms. This is a great interactive and tutorial on how to make and use phylogenetic trees.
- Iowa PBS Learning Media: NOVA Evolution Lab Game: An interactive tutorial that goes with the evolution lab to make phylogenetic trees.
- Penn State University: White-Tailed Deer Biology and Adaptations: A General Overview: Deer feeding and anatomy information.
- Farm Animal Report: Why Deer and Rabbits Poop Pellets: More detailed information on why the animals poop in pellets (more for the teacher as there are a lot of advertisements).
Iowa Core Alignment
Submitted by Laura McCreery
Raccoon scat pictures taken by Ann Meehan
Deer scat and videos taken by Larry Howell