Aquatic Life Comparisons

Aquatic Life Comparisons

How observant are you? Here’s a Fun Zoo challenge:

Take a look at a bird called the red-breasted merganser and a mammal called the American river otter. Both are very effective predators when it comes to catching fish.

As fish-catching predators, which physical adaptations appear on both of these animals?


• A natural suit that provides insulation and waterproofing in cold water. The merganser has fluffy, feathers close to its skin and outer feathers that provide waterproofing. The otter has soft under-fur and waterproof outer “guard” hairs.

• Oil glands that help waterproof their outer feathers or fur.

• Tooth-like structures for catching slippery fishes: the merganser has a serrated beak; the otter has sharp, pointed teeth.

• Webbed feet that work like swim fins to propel themselves through the water.

• Streamlined bodies that let them easily slip through the water.

• Clear, specialized eyelids (nictitating membranes) that let them see well underwater.

Fun Facts

Have you heard? Asian elephants have smaller external ears than African elephants, but Asian elephants hear just as well as their African cousins.
Fun Fact - Asian elephant

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