The Blubber Experiment

Mrs. Bachman’s science students have been learning about the various ways animals are adapted to their natural habitats. Adaptations may be physical like a camel’s humps or a duck’s webbed feet; others may be behavioral such as when an animal hibernates or migrates at the beginning of winter.

As students and staff are starting to wear heavy coats to adapt to the colder temperatures outside, it seems fitting that today’s lesson was on how animals who live in cold climates are adapted to survive.

White fur can help animals hide from predators amidst the snow, and powerful claws can help them grip snow and ice. But what about the significantly cold temperatures?

In today’s experiment, students first placed a hand inside a bin filled with ice and cold water. Brrrr!

Next, each student donned a single disposable glove which Mrs. Bachman coated heavily with shortening. Students discovered than when they put their shortening-insulated hand in the ice and water it didn’t feel nearly as cold!

The shortening represented blubber, which helps keep whales, seals, and others animals stay warm in Arctic and Antarctic climates.


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