Science is based on observations and this is especially so in field studies. In today’s world, a wealth of web-based videos along with online data from research groups offer virtual but truly authentic scientific experimental opportunities. For this activity, you will choose a marine organism and, using both Google Oceanopens in a new window and on Arkiveopens in a new window, prepare a field report on your observations.

Check out some of these other sites for great footage and online data:

Field Report: Observations on Marine Organisms

Your field report must be at least one page long and must follow the required format including all sections found in this example.

Follow the same steps for the species you select as in the example:

Type www.arkive.orgopens in a new window into the address bar of your browser. In the menu column to the left of all species is a globe link to Google Ocean. For example, type in “elephant seal” into the search box on the introductory page of Arkive and select Northern Elephant Seal from the list that appears. This takes you to a selection of pictures, videos, and information sheets about this species.

If videos are available, select one or two to view.

Include a link to the video in your report so we can also observe this field study. This can be done by with a “cut and paste” of the web address for the page with the video.…opens in a new window

Scientific Name: Mirounga angustirostris (Gill, 1866)

Include a link to the video in your report so we can also observe this field study:…opens in a new window

Label each part of the report. The entire report should be at least one typed page long using college writing, college citations, grammar, and punctuation.

Include the animal’s geographic distribution (latitude and longitude – a rough estimation is fine if you cannot find exact coordinates), descriptions of the habitat seen in the video (wet, dry, hot, cold, plants, other animals, etc.), the animal’s relative size, sexual dimorphism, external anatomy, and adaptations, and behaviors.

For the example of the elephant seal there are two videos, including one of an elephant seal giving birth. The lab report on this animal would include: where the birth occurred, how arduous it was, whether the pup was active immediately? Was the pup alert and able to make sounds? What was the mother’s response to giving birth and reaction to the young? What were the behaviors of any other animals in the immediate area?

Draw one conclusion from your observations based entirely on what you saw in the video. Ask one new question that you would like answered and briefly describe how you would study this.

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