Science / Year 5 / Science Understanding / Biological sciences

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Curriculum content descriptions

Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment (ACSSU043)

Elaborations
  • explaining how particular adaptations help survival such as nocturnal behaviour, silvery coloured leaves of dune plants
  • describing and listing adaptations of living things suited for particular Australian environments
  • exploring general adaptations for particular environments such as adaptations that aid water conservation in deserts
ScOT terms

Adaptation (Evolution),  Animal behaviour

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Science Years 5–6 with Mrs Carmeli: The Living World – Adaptation

In this lesson, you will learn how living things use structural and behavioural adaptation to ensure their survival. Mrs Carmeli will show you how to understand bird beak adaptations by conducting some investigations at home, and how to record your study using a data table.

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Migratory birds

Discover a program that builds awareness about Tasmania's shore birds. See how community involvement is helping to monitor their populations. View this clip called 'Migratory birds', created by young reporters from Circular Head Christian School, Tasmania. The clip was developed as part of the ABC Splash Live 'Making the ...

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Conservation research after the desert bloom

Have you ever heard of the cycle of boom and bust? Learn more about the cycle's impact as you follow a group of scientists who survey plants and animals in a remote desert environment. You might be surprised at their form of transportation. Explore the impact on life during a 'boom' period at Ethabuka Reserve, one of Bush ...

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An ichthyosaur from the age of dinosaurs

Take a close look at a fossilised ichthyosaur skeleton with Maria Zammit, a PhD student from the University of Adelaide. Maria is studying the ichthyosaur and comparing it with dolphins and other living marine creatures to try to work out how it swam.

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Decreasing snowfalls threaten pygmy-possum

The Mountain Pygmy-possum spends winter hibernating beneath snow at temperatures of two degrees. But what could happen to the species if there is little or no snow blanket to hibernate beneath? Watch this clip to find out.

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How seeds become plants

Did you know that a coconut and a walnut are actually seeds? Tiny or huge, prickly or smooth, seeds contain everything a plant needs to start a new life. Watch this clip and find out how seeds get around, and what they need to start growing. Presenter Nick Hardcastle will even show you how to grow your own plants from seed.

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Platypus at play

The platypus is an egg-laying mammal, perfectly adapted to its watery home in Australia's freshwater lakes, rivers and streams. With its streamlined body, webbed feet like paddles and broad tail, it dives and swims underwater in search of food. Catch a rare glimpse of this Australian animal in its natural habitat.

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Leaping tall felines in a single bound

Discover one of the greatest high-jumpers of the animal world. If cat-fleas were the size of humans, they could jump 400 metres into the air! Find out how and why these tiny jumpers leap so high.

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Red kangaroos: efficient hoppers

The red kangaroo can cover many kilometres at speeds of around 30-40 kilometres per hour. Watch these amazing animal athletes in action and find out what makes them such champion long-jumpers.

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Antarctic wildlife

What wildlife would you expect to see in and around Antarctica? Come aboard the Australian ice breaker Aurora Australis to find out. How have these animals adapted to the harsh environment?

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It's all in the trunk

Elephants are large, but how large? See how heavy a bull elephant is when its mass is described in numbers of cars or people. An elephant's trunk is a wonderful adaptation - a perfect tool. See why! Find out how elephants communicate using everything from loud trumpeting to low-frequency rumbles.

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Polar bear survival

Do you know what is threatening the survival of the world's largest land carnivore? Watch this clip of a polar bear as it moves across the Arctic ice, and find out about what is happening in its icy world. The World Wildlife Fund's Margaret Williams explains the feeding habits and adaptations of the polar bear, and identifies ...

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Plant leaves

Leaves come in many shapes, sizes, colours and textures. Watch this clip to discover how leaves make their own food and transport energy to the rest of the plant. See how they can even be useful after they've fallen to the ground. Presenter Nick Hardcastle and some young helpers will also show you a fun, creative activity ...

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Elephant evolution

The elephant, the largest land mammal, is believed to have evolved from an aquatic pig-like animal. Many of its ancestors, such as the woolly mammoth, have become extinct, but three species of elephants remain. Find out to which marine animals elephants are thought to be closely related.

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Trees: a vital part of our lives

Have you ever heard of the 'sausage tree' or the 'dragon blood tree'? Watch this clip to find out about these and many other types of trees. Explore how they grow and why they are important. Presenter Nick Hardcastle will also show you how to plant a tree and grow a bonsai tree.

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South Australia's ancient sea fossils

Come on a palaeontologist's dig at Emu Bay, South Australia, and discover some weird-looking creatures frozen in stone. Find out what these fossils tell scientists about life on the ancient sea floor. There is a demonstration of how a fossil is formed, and you'll be surprised by the types of materials that have been preserved.

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Playtpus: the young male leaves the burrow

Platypus young are born and grow in the protection of a burrow. In this clip we see a young male platypus leave the burrow for the first time. This platypus has spent between 14 and 15 weeks in its burrow. See what it does on its first outing. This is one clip in a series of three.

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Playtpus: where are the young hiding?

The platypus protects its young in a burrow. Watch this amazing footage of two platypus babies inside the nesting chamber of one of these burrows. You'll be fascinated to watch as the mother, Shy, comes back to feed her 13-week-old young. This is one clip in a series of three.

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Fungi: how they grow

If a mushroom is not a plant, what is it? Discover a group of living things that are neither animals nor plants. Explore the mysterious world of fungi and find out the conditions that they need before they can grow.

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Dr Karl vs the mysterious giant squid

Do you believe in the legendary sea monster called the Kraken? It's said to have gigantic tentacles and to lurk in the deep ocean. In this clip, Dr Karl talks about some of the extraordinary features of a real deep-sea creature - the giant squid. Watch this clip to find out about it and see some footage of this amazing creature.