SURVIVAL IN THE WILD
Plants and animals have the hard job of surviving in a very wild world. How do they do it? There are many ways plants and animals have adapted in order to survive. Camouflage is one way animals adapt to survive. For some animals, this means that their fur, scales, or skin are a similar color to the land around them. Deer, for example, have brown fur that blends in with the trees, so it’s harder for predators to see them. This saves them from becoming prey to a larger animal. Some animals can actually change colors to match their environment. Many people think of chameleons when they think of this type of camouflage, but rabbits are a great example as well. Some rabbits’ fur will change colors depending on the season. Their fur might be brown in the spring, summer, and fall to match the trees, but the brown fur will fall out and white fur will grow in the winter to blend in with the snow. This way the rabbit is safer from predators year-round. Some insects, instead of blending in with their environment, look like something else that will deter animals from eating them. A walking stick looks just like a stick so that predators will pass it by without noticing it. Katydids mimic leaves. Some moths and butterflies have designs on their wings that make them look like snakes or owls, to scare away their predators. For some plants, however, they don’t want to blend in; they want to stand out to survive! Many plants grow flowers with colorful petals to attract bees. The bees help pollinate the flowers so that they can produce new flowers. Instead of hiding, some plants and animals develop structures that aim to hurt anything that tries to hurt them. Some plants develop thorns so that animals will not eat them. Some animals have extremely sharp teeth and claws so they can fight off other animals. Porcupines and hedgehogs even have spikes, called quills or spines, covering their backs so animals won’t want to eat them! There are many ways plants and animals have adapted to survive in the wild. Do you know of any other ways?
Answer each question:
1. What are three ways plants and animals have adapted to survive?
2. Go back to the second paragraph. Highlight two details that show how camouflage is effective in helping animals survive.
3. What does “deter” mean in the 3rd paraagraph? How do you know?
4. How does mimicry (paragraph 3) help moths and butterflies survive?
5. If each paragraph had a heading, the heading for the 2nd paragraph could be “Camouflage.” Create a heading for the 5th paragraph.
Are all rocks the same? No way! Rocks can be different shapes, sizes, textures, and colors. There are 3 different types of rocks that can affect what a rock looks and feels like. The three types of rocks are sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic. Sedimentary rocks are a mixture of dirt, rocks, mud, shells, and other materials that are on the bottoms of oceans and other bodies of water, and get compacted together over many years. Sometimes you can even see different layers in sedimentary rocks. These types of rocks feel grainy, like sand, and are easier to crumble than other types of rocks. Sometimes sedimentary rocks will have plant or animal imprints! The second type of rock is the igneous rock. These rocks are created from magma that cools and hardens. Many rocks start out as igneous rocks. Igneous rocks have glass crystals filled with minerals in them. They do not usually have layers, and are very smooth. The third type of rock is the metamorphic rock. These rocks are formed when the other types of rocks are subjected to intense heat and pressure to change them. Metamorphic rocks are hard and smooth, like igneous rocks. Just like plants and animals have a life cycle, rocks can go through a rock cycle! Many rocks start from magma or lava, so they are igneous rocks. The igneous rocks could get broken up in a river or stream and settle to the bottom of a lake. Over thousands or millions of years, the broken up rocks could get compacted into a sedimentary rock. The sedimentary rock could get exposed to intense heat, and change to a metamorphic rock. Then the metamorphic rock could get covered by many other rocks and end up deep in Earth’s crust. It may melt and turn into magma, and the cycle could start over again. The rock cycle is different than a life cycle of a plant or animal, though, because a rock doesn’t have to go through the cycle in order, and it may not go through all the stages.Even though there are only three different types of rocks based on how they’re formed, each type actually has many different subcategories of rock. For example obsidian, granite, and basalt are three types of igneous rocks. This is why there are so many different colored rocks. Many people love to collect rocks because of how different each one can be.
Answer each question:
1. What are sedimentary rocks? Highlight the sentence that has the answer
2. What are the three types of rocks?
3. How are life cycles and the rock cycle different?
4. Do you think all sedimentary rocks look the same? Why or why not? Support your answer with evidence from the passage.
5. What else do you wonder about rocks after reading the passage?