My partner and I created a project on the Barking Spider, an animal that lives in mulga country and makes a distinctive whistling or hissing sound to scare away predators. This project was assigned to us to focus on the key adaptations of an animal or plant that helps it survive and thrive in its desert environment. I think we worked well together and one of the key things we achieved was the confidence and understanding of the information we researched about the animal. I think our model and diagram both showed the key adaptations of the spider as well. We mainly achieved the 3rd column and some of the 2nd column in the rubric.
Some facts I found interesting during this project were:
- That the female barking spider can live for 20-30 years, way more than the male that only lives for 5-8 years and usually dies after mating
- They produce oil from a special gland to assist them when they use their brush feet to climb up slopes, this adaptation is a suction cup ability
- They have no teeth to chew food therefore they use their venom to liquefy their prey and then suck it up
I also have a couple of understandings from the topic:
- I now understand that barking spiders’ palps are structural adaptations as they use them to make a whistling sound that deters predators and this helps them survive (this is part of the Science Knowledge Victorian Curriculum Standards)
- We tested the barking spider’s suction cup ability by putting different amounts of oil onto suction cups and now I understand that the more oil used, the better the suction cup ability therefore they can climb up slopes easier (this is part of the Science Inquiry Skills Victorian Curriculum Standards)
A wondering I have is:
- How many glands do barking spiders have for producing their oil
The most important things I have learnt during this unit were:
How plants or animals can have adaptations to protect themselves from the temperature and conditions of their environment or to protect themselves from predators or other animals. I learnt this by researching about my assigned animal (The Barking Spider) and discovering how it’s changed/adapted to survive and thrive. I’ll use this knowledge to go further with this topic and develop more questions and wonderings to investigate about adaptations.
I also learnt, during the project how to share the roles between my partner and I to use the key strengths we each have as an advantage. I learnt this by consulting with my partner and also experimenting with the different elements of the project such as the diagram and model which I mainly worked on with help from my partner and the power point information and experiment ideas which my partner mostly did with my help. I am going to use my strengths in other tasks and project to bring my skills and experience to it. (This is part of Personal and Social Capabilities Victorian Curriculum Standards)
To conclude, over this whole unit I have learnt about the changes animals and plants make to their body in order to survive and thrive in their habitat whether it was and extreme environment like Antarctica or the desert. We also had an excursion to the Aquarium where we explored extreme environments as well as other animal habitats such as the ocean, the coral reef, rock pools and rainforests.
Next time I work in a group I could try to work on communicating with my group members more and check in with them to monitor each other’s progress.