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Life in the Garden:who ate that cone?
Sunday 26 October 2008
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Un écureuil {JPEG}Life in the Garden:who ate that cone?


- to observe signs of animal feeding in the garden
- to find links between the pieces of information
- to identify feeding links between living beings


- conifer cones
- adhesive tape


While walking in the garden, you discover cones that seem to have been eaten by animals, but which animals?

Work with the following worksheet:

1. Observe a spruce cone and its seed

Remove gently a spruce scale and stick it neatly on the following space:

Give a title to the scale and caption it with the following words: scale, seed, wings.

2. Observe the eaten cones

Formulate theories about the different strategies to eat the seeds hidden under the scales.

3. Read the text and complete the table

“The crossbill springs the cone scales on their whole length with its cross-shaped beak. Each scale is sprung into two parts.

The woodpecker moves apart the cone scales that appear shredded and split open. It feeds from insect larva as well it dislodges from the bark with sharp strikes of its beak.

The squirrel gnaws at the cone from bottom to top. The cone is not neatly cleaned and a non eaten bit remains.

The field mouse nibbles at the cone from bottom to top and the cone is steady and finely eaten.

Use this text and the drawings from the following table to describe the appearance of the four spruce cones. From the scale observation, complete the table.

The diet of an animal feeding on plants is called phytophagous. When it feeds on animals, its diet is zoophagous. When it feeds on plants and animals, its diet is said to be omnivorous. Identify the diets of these four animals (crossbill, woodpecker, squirrel, field mouse).


Complete the text with the following words: omnivorous, diet, phytophagous, zoophagous

The whole food consumed by an animal is the ….

An animal eating mainly plants is called ….

An animal eating mainly animals is said to be ….

When the animal eats both animals and plants, it is ….

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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