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 An animal skull can be an amazing resource for exploring natural history and practicing skills such as observation and interpretation. Give your students a hands-on experience with the skulls of seven common California herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores. This kit explores topics including adaptation, types of teeth, significance of eye placement, and how to identify herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores.

Materials

  • curriculum binder
  • "Skulls of North American Mammals" display board
  • bobcat skull
  • jackrabbit skull
  • porcupine skull
  • raccoon skull
  • human skull
  • coyote skull
  • black bear skull
  • 8 marked ropes
  • 35 mirrors
  • 8 "herbivore goggles"
  • Books: "Skulls and Bones" by Glenn Searfoss; "The Glow-in-the-Dark Book of Animal Skeletons" by Regina Kahney and Christopher Santoro; "The Skull Alphabet Book" by Jerry Pallotta and Ralph Masiello; "Eyewitness: Skeleton" by Steve Parker; "Skulls" by David Liitschwager & The California Academy of Sciences; "Skulls: An Exploration of Alan Dudley's Curious Collection" by Simon Winchester; "Bones" by Steve Jenkins

Activities

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Create a Map of Your Teeth: Learn about different types of teeth as you explore your own mouth.

Herbivores, Omnivores, and Carnivores: Examine some amazing animal skulls and compare and contrast the teeth of different animals.

Chew, Bite, and Chomp: Carry out some delicious experiments to figure out what your incisors, canines, and molars are for.

What Can Teeth Do?: Expand your vocabulary in this creative brainstorming activity.

Spot Danger, Track Prey: Learn how an animal's eye placement relates to its lifestyle as predator or prey.

Plot Your Vision: How does your field of vision measure up? Map out the field for each of your eyes and measure the area of overlap. Then try on some "herbivore goggles" and discover what it's like to see like an herbivore!

Skull Detective: Apply your observation and investigation skills as you examine the skulls of several California mammals. Are they herbivores, omnivores, or carnivores? Predator or prey? Put your new knowledge together to figure it all out.

Training available in Fall 2017

teachers with certficates

Become eligible to rent this kit by attending a teacher workshop!

Tuesday November 14, 2017
4:30 - 6:30 pm

Next Generation Science Standards

Click the link below to view a list of connections to the NGSS and other standards.

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