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Structures of Life - Study Guide
Investigation 1 - Origin of Seeds
1) The property/physical characteristic of an object is a description of how it looks,
smells, sounds, tastes, or feels.
2) The fruit is the part of the plant that contains the seeds of the plant. The seeds
contain the embryo, or new baby plant.
3) In order to start germinating, or growing, a seed needs water. Water will cause
the seed to swell, become softer, and the seed coat will loosen up. The seed coat
is the protection for the seed.
4) When the seed coat is loose, the first structure to appear will be the root. The root
comes out to soak up water and nutrients from the soil.
5) While the new plant is growing, and the leaves are very small, it will use the food
stored in the cotyledon to grow big and strong, until the leaves are fully formed
and will be able to turn sunlight into food.
Investigation 2 – Growing Further
1) We need several things to help our plants survive in the hydroponics container:
a) Water (we will need to refill it because some water will be soaked up by the
plant and some will evaporate)
b) Sunlight
c) Nutrients (usually provided by soil)
d) Air
2) After the leaves and stem are fully developed, the plant will start to flower, this is
where the fruit is produced. Inside the fruit are new seeds.
Investigation 3 – Meet the Crayfish
1) Crayfish belong to a group of animals called crustaceans. These animals have a
hard exoskeleton, antenna, jointed walking legs, and pincers.
2) When setting up a crayfish habitat, where it lives, we must consider several things:
a) Cool water for it to swim in
b) A place for the crayfish to hide in its territory, its own space it will defend
c) Aquatic plants to eat and hide in, like elodea or hornwort.
3) Cray fish have many structures to help them to survive:
a) Antenna – sensory organs
b) Pincers – used to get food, defend themselves, burrow in the ground
c) Eyes – on stalks to see all around
d) Carapace – hard main body section
e) Walking legs – to help it move toward food and away from predators
f) Bristles – help it sense its environment
g) Tail flap – used to move quickly
h) Swimmeret – help swim
Female- long swimmeret - used to carry eggs and babies
i) Egg pore – female only – eggs come from this hole
4) When we observe a crayfish eating, fighting, or raising its pincers, we are observing
its behaviors.
5) When a crayfish gets bigger, it will molt. Its hard exoskeleton will soften, loosen
up, and come off. At this point a crayfish is not protected. After a few days, a new
hard shell will form again.
Investigation 4 – Bess Beetles
1) Bess Beetles’ natural habitat is in trees and forests. In our classroom, the terrarium
needs to contain:
a) Food – wood
b) Water – sprayed on the wood
c) Air – terrarium must have air holes in the cover
d) Space
2) Bess Beetles have structures to help them survive:
a) Head – front body section, contains brain
b) Antennae – sensory organs
c) Mandible/jaw – mouth parts to chew wood
d) Exoskeleton – hard shell protecting body parts.
e) Thorax – middle body section
f) Abdomen – last and biggest body section; wings are in this section under
g) Elytra – the hard, black wing set; used for protection and to make sounds