Three rows of teeth. A third eye. A “chill” nocturnal lifestyle. The tuatara is unlike any other reptile in the world. Easy to mistake for a lizard or an iguana, the tuatara is neither. This Extreme Survivor is the last living Sphenodon, a diverse and ancient order of reptiles that slithered around with the dinosaurs […]
Tag Archives: Extreme Survivors
Three Magic Words
I was standing in front of 150 kids when a second-grader asked me a science question I couldn’t answer about an animal in my book The Secret Pool. “Why are a spotted salamander’s spots yellow?” he asked. Panicked, I spluttered, “I don’t know.” Then, it dawned on me. “Let’s see if we can find out,” […]
How to Find Water Bears
Does moss or lichen grow in your schoolyard or park? If so, you probably have water bears! These endearing and hardy micro-animals are fun to hunt for and easy to observe with a dissecting microscope at 40x magnification. Also known as tardigrades, water bears resemble gummy bears with eight legs. Don’t let their cuteness fool […]
Science Poem Quilt!
Students in grades 3 and 4 at Lubec Consolidated School created this wonderful quilt of cinquains inspired by Extreme Survivors: Animals That Time Forgot. Writing cinquains is a fun way to integrate science and writing. A pattern for this five-line poem is one noun (the subject), two adjectives describing it, three verbs, a phrase that […]
Whiting Village’s tiny, three-room school bustles with creativity. Stephanie Higgins used Extreme Survivors: Animals That Time Forgot to create this great timeline with her students in grades 2 through 4. Check out the way Stephanie brought together geologic time, the ancient animals in my book, and clear learning goals: “I understand that complicated life forms […]
This Animal Might Save Your Life!
Horseshoe crabs have blue blood that contains a special substance that clots around bacteria to prevent infection from spreading. Called LAL for short, it is used to test medical equipment for bacterial contamination. If you’ve ever had a shot, stitches, or surgery, you can thank horseshoe crabs for helping to keep you safe! Horseshoe crab […]