Choose five organisms from the treasure of B.C Coast, provide hand drawings of the organisms, see the attached document for all information.
Life cannot exist in a vacuum. Everything relies on other organisms around them for their very survival. Life exists on a very precarious edge. No two organisms act exactly alike.
For this assignment, I want you to spend some time observing marine organisms in their natural environment (intertidal, sub tidal, open ocean, sand flat, etc). I would like you to spend some time just observing and looking at how organisms interact with each other and their habitat.I want you to observe 5 organisms in their natural marine setting from a local marine environment (intertidal, beach, estuary, mudflat, dock piling etc) or the Vancouver Aquarium (easiest option due to weak tides) because it allows you the opportunity to see several ecosystems and it supplies the resources.
Note for Vancouver Aquarium:
• You must choose an environment that is characteristic of the Pacific NW. Nothing from the tropics please!
• Stick to the Treasures Of The B.C. Coast section.
• Choose 5 organisms.
• Of the five, at least 1 must be an autotroph (gets energy from the sun)
• 2 must be heterotrophs (energy from eating other things).
• In choosing the heterotrophs, at least one must be a carnivore and one must be an
• This leaves you to choose any two other organisms in the local ecosystem for a total of
In the essay, describe the environment briefly using terms from Castro (this requires some advanced reading). This description should include such abiotic factors like year round weather, wave exposure, light, temperature, substrate, etc. Then describe each organism in your own words. I do not expect you to use scientific terminology. This is meant to be an exercise on observational skills. Describe what you see using terminology you understand. Please give at least the common name. You can use Genus species if you want (does not result in more points), but it is not necessary (remember they must be italicized). Talk about their size, shape, form, special adaptations and limitations you
think they must overcome to survive in their particular niche (special role) in their environment.
Describe their interaction and importance to each other. REMEMBER: There is no WRONG answer! If you think an organism eats/avoids prey in a particular way and you back it up with observations, you get full marks. You are mainly being evaluated on your skills at observation. Do not choose an organism that you think does not interact in some way with the other chosen ones. For each organism (in the field), draw the whole organism (with a scale bar). Then, draw some part of the organism that you think allows it to adapt to its environment. Finally, draw a basic diagram showing how the five organisms all interact with each other. Drawings are to be done by hand (you will not be graded on artistic skills). Pencil or coloured pencils works best. No photos please.
This should be no longer than 3-5 pages typed (not including diagrams). Hand written is OK as long as it is sufficiently legible for the grader. There is no need to use other sources than Castro and class notes. You are welcome to use the Internet and/or field guides (NOT NECESSARY) for identification purposes (as always, cite any resource you use) if you want. This will not help or hurt your grade. Please do not include any pictures for this assignment.
• 3-5 page essay (point form OK) describing an ecosystem and 5 organisms that exist in that ecosystem.
• 1 autotroph
• 2 heterotrophs (one herbivore and one carnivore)
• 2 organisms of your choice (can be anything including herbivore or carnivore).
• 5 simple hand drawings (1 for each organism) of each organism. Make sure to name it
(common name is fine) as best as you can. Make sure to include a scale bar to show the size of the organism. Indicate the part of the organism you will draw in greater detail.
• 5 hand drawings (1 for each organism) of a part that allows the organism to be well adapted to its environment with annotation on its form and function
• 1 diagram/drawing of how all the organisms interact with each other. It is OK to include other organisms not described in the essay to complete the picture.
Important Note: To do this assignment correctly, most of your time should be spent at the location observing, taking notes and drawing the organism. The actual write up should take very little time.