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Life in the Garden: what do animals eat as seasons pass?
Tuesday 21 October 2008
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Life in the Garden: what do animals eat as seasons pass?

NOTIONAL OBJECTIVES :

Know that animal diets can vary within a species: the badger diet is an example of seasonal variation.

METHOD OBJECTIVES :

Express results graphically through bar charts.

PROCEDURES :

Use the following worksheet:
The badger droppings analysis allowed establishing bar charts of the food it feeds on according to the season:

1. List the food eaten by the badger using the three charts whatever the season.

2. Classify the listed food into two groups:

- food of animal origin
- food of vegetal origin

3. What is the badger’s diet? Justify the answer.
4. Use colours in the three charts above:
- green for the food sections of vegetal origin
- red for the food sections of animal origin.

5. Work out the food percentage of vegetal origin and the food percentage of animal origin according to the seasons. Write down the results in the following table:

Food percentage of animal origin Food percentage of vegetal origin

Spring Printemps {GIF}

Summer Eté {GIF}

Autumn Automne {GIF}

6. Represent the food eaten as a histogram (bar chart)

Draw two perpendicular graduated axes. Put:

- on the abscissa (horizontal axis) the three seasons (4 squares = 1 season)

- on the ordinate (vertical axis) the food percentages (1 square = 10%)

You get three columns with the same width and different heights according to the food quantity.

Divide each column into two and use colours to differentiate the food origin: in each column, hachure in green the food quantity of vegetal origin and in red the food quantity of animal origin.

7. Explain the differences noticed in the badger’s diet between summer and autumn

ASSESSMENT :

Capacity for the pupil:

- to read and make charts
- to re-use, in other situations, the diet variation notion


Jean-Michel Josse professeur de Sciences de la Vie et de la Terre, Lycée Français Charlemagne de Pointe Noire, Congo Brazzaville

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