T e a c h e r  C r e a t e d  L e s s o n

Le roi des glaces est-il menacé?

florencine

Fernand-Seguin, Québec, Quebec

Comparing Grizzly and Polar Bears

In this activity, you will compare certain physical characteristics of Grizzly and Polar bears. Use the images provided and the Flash animation for your investigation.

A. Observe and Record

Step 1: Skulls

Compare the profiles of the two bears, referring to the 3D Flash animation and skull photos. At the end of this step, note down your observations about profile, forehead, muzzle, etc.

Step 2: Teeth

Compare the teeth of the two bears using the photos. At the end of this step, note down your observations about their shape, size, number, etc.

Step 3: Paws

Compare the paws of the two bears using the photographs. At the end of this step, note down your observations about comparative size, presence of fur, shape, etc.

Step 4: Claws

Compare the claws of the two bears using the photographs. At the end of this step, note down your observations about comparative length, shape, comparative thickness, etc..

B. Questions

Now that you have studied the images and recorded your observations, answer the following questions.

1. What are the differences between the Grizzly and Polar bear skulls? State a hypothesis that could explain these differences.

2. What are the differences between the teeth of the two bears? State a hypothesis that could explain these differences.

3. What are the differences between the paws? State a hypothesis that could explain these differences.

4. What are the differences between the claws? State a hypothesis that could explain these differences.

5. What habitat-related factors could explain these differences?

C. Extrapolation

Make extrapolations from the results of the skull analyses, and prepare a short presentation explaining how the skull and teeth variations indicate the polar bear’s adaptation to its Arctic climate. How does climate change threaten the survival of polar bears in the Arctic?


Annick Deblois


© 2007, Canadian Museum of Nature. All Rights Reserved.
Learning Object Collection: Climate Change and the Arctic
Learning Object: Arctic Adaptations
Institution: Canadian Museum of Nature