Animals by Habitat

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Tropical Rainforests
Grade: 1st - 8th
Program Theme: The location of Tropical Rainforests is due to climate conditions. The climate conditions allow growth for a large diversity of plants. Because of the climate and diversity of plants, a large diversity of animals also exists. Both the animal and plants have adaptations allowing them to exist in the tropical rainforest; in fact, the plants and animals are very dependent upon each other.

Program Activities: Students will investigate Tropical Rainforest location and climate. Conduct an experiment that demonstrates and adaptation of Tropical Rainforest plants. Meet at least 2 tropical rainforest animals, investigate how plants benefit these animals and what adaptations the animals have for survival in the Tropical Rainforest. Take a guided tour to visit several Tropical Rainforest animals and the Tropical Rainforest exhibit. Tour guides will also discuss the benefits of Tropical Rainforests for humans.

Grade: 1st - 8th
Program Theme: Desert plants and animals have adaptations to help them survive in a habitat that can have extreme temperatures and little water. Desert animals and plants are dependent on each other for survival.

Program Activities: Students will learn the climate of Deserts. Conduct experiments that demonstrate adaptations of desert plants. Meet a desert animal and discover its adaptations for survival and how it depends on desert plants. Take a guided tour to visit several Desert animals and visit the Desert exhibit.

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Grasslands: Prairie, Savannah, Pampas
Grade: 1st - 8th
Program Theme: Grasslands are found in North America (Prairie), South America (Pampas), Africa (Savannah), and Asia. Animals that live in grasslands have adaptations that allow them to survive in their habitat and are dependent on the dominating plant of the grasslands – Grass!

Program Activities: Students will learn the climate and location of grasslands. Examine artifacts and meet a live animal to investigate adaptations for survival in grasslands. Take a guided tour to visit several Grassland animals from different continents such as zebra, prairie dogs, and cavies.

Grade: 1st - 8th
Program Theme: Because of their isolation, islands contain many animals that are endemic (unique) only to islands. These animals have developed unique adaptations to live in their island environment that are not found on the animals’ counterparts in other parts of the world.

Program Activities: In the classroom, students will learn the different types of islands, how they were formed, and where they are located through using maps, diagrams, and viewing a video. They will then participate in activities that illustrate how animals arrive on islands and what makes an animal endemic to an island. After meeting a live island animal up close, students will take a guided tour of Zoo Boise’s Island Exhibit to meet animals endemic to islands such as Komodo Dragon, Giant Geckos, Aldabra Tortoise, and Ring-tailed Lemurs.

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Ocean Odyssey
Grade: 1st - 8th
Program Theme: The marine environment is very different than the terrestrial (land) environment on which humans are accustomed to living. Ocean characteristics such as salinity, water depth, temperatures, winds, and currents all have an effect on the marine animals. Animals have adaptations that allow them to survive in the dynamic environment of the ocean.

Program Activities: Students will first participate in a game to illustrate the water cycle. They will then conduct experiments demonstrating the properties of marine water (currents, salinity) and understand how these properties have effects on marine animals. Penguins and marine turtles are the focus animals of this program. At the penguin exhibit, students will participate in experiments that demonstrate penguin adaptations for marine life.