Education Technology

JASON: Pinniped Body Shape Conserving Warmth

Published on 05/07/2009

Activity Overview

From Shore to Sea: To survive in cold ocean environments an organism's body must be adapted to life under water. A body will cool very quickly when in contact with water. The body shape of an organism is one adaptation that helps to conserve warmth.

Before the Activity

See the attached teacher document (pdf file) for notes and guidelines for this activity.

Print and copy the attached activity document and research article (pdf files) for your class. The research article is in the during the activity section below.

During the Activity

Students will:

  • Learn how a pinniped body shape is adapted to conserve warmth by simulating pinniped and human body shapes using plastic or latex gloves
  • Use a Temperature Sensor to measure and graph changes in temperature of a pinniped body and a human body when plunged into ice water


  • Directions
  • Distribute the activity document and research article to your class
  • Read and discuss the research article
  • Follow the activity procedures outlined in the student document
  • After the Activity

  • Students complete the data analysis section of the activity
  • Discuss the results of the data analysis with your students