Duration45 - 60 minutes
Students will explore a range of unique and fascinating transparent animals found in the world’s oceans.
The National Science Week school theme for 2022 is ‘Glass: More than meets the eye’ to celebrate the United Nations International Year of Glass. As transparency is one of the properties of glass that has made it such a prominent material in the world around us, these resources explore a range of unique and fascinating transparent animals found in the world’s oceans, which we have termed here ‘glass animals’.
The information and activities in these resources are linked to the Australian Curriculum and content descriptors are provided. We hope you enjoy exploring the wonderful world of marine glass animals!
All required information to teach this lesson can be found in the Fact Sheet: Glass animals, adaptations and biology.
For years 5-6, students will require printed copies of the Teacher Resource Sheet: Glass animals glossary and information cards and Student Worksheet: Glass animals adaptations and biology. Suggested answers can be found in the Teacher Resource Sheet.
For years 7-12, students will require printed copies of the Teacher Resource Sheet: Glass animals glossary and information cards and Student Worksheet: Glass animals adaptations and biology. Suggested answers can be found in the Teacher Resource Sheet.
We are excited to have developed these activities for use in your classroom.
Western Australian curriculum
|Science||Science understanding||Biological sciences||ACSSU030|
|Science||Science understanding||Biological sciences||ACSSU043|
|Science||Science understanding||Biological sciences||ACSSU044|
|Science||Science understanding||Biological sciences||ACSSU072|
|Science||Science understanding||Physical sciences||ACSSU020|
|Science||Science understanding||Biological sciences||ACSSU111|
|Science||Science understanding||Biological sciences||ACSSU150|
|Science||Science understanding||Biological sciences||ACSSU184|
|Science||Science understanding||Chemical sciences||ACSSU179|
|Science||Science understanding||Chemical sciences||ACSSU187|
|Science||Science understanding||Chemical sciences||ACSSU225|
|11||Biology General||2||Science understanding|
|11||Marine & Maritime General||2||Science understanding|
|11||Earth & Environmental Science General||2||Science understanding|
- Introduce today’s topic, adaptations of marine animals, themed around animals with transparent tissues. Review why adaptations occur in nature and review the three broad types of adaptations (structural, physiological, behavioural).
- Hand out glossary and information cards and student worksheets. Allow students to work in pairs as they use the resources provided to complete the activity.
- Bring students together and discuss answers, paying particular attention to the advantages and disadvantages of transparent tissues, reproductive modes and bioluminescence (as applicable to year level).
Fact Sheet: Glass animals, adaptations and biology
Fact Sheet: Fish Adaptations
Bhowal, A., & Purushothaman, J. (2020). Mollusca: Heterobranchia: Pteropoda. Faunal Diversity
of Biogeographic Zones: Coasts of India, 595-602.
Davis, M. P., Sparks, J. S., & Smith, W. L. (2016). Repeated and widespread evolution of
bioluminescence in marine fishes. PloS one, 11(6), e0155154.
Deibel, D., & Lowen, B. (2012). A review of the life cycles and life-history adaptations of pelagic
tunicates to environmental conditions. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 69(3), 358-369.
Henschke, N., Everett, J. D., Richardson, A. J., & Suthers, I. M. (2016). Rethinking the role of
salps in the ocean. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 31(9), 720-733.
Kahlke, T., & Umbers, K. D. (2016). Bioluminescence. Current Biology, 26(8), R313-R314.
Keable, S. (2022). Deepsea Glass Sponge. Australian Museum Website. Published 4 April 2022.
Accessed 2022-07-01. https://australian.museum/learn/animals/sea-stars/sponges/
Lisenkova, A. A., Grigorenko, A. P., Tyazhelova, T. V., Andreeva, T. V., Gusev, F. E., Manakhov, A. D.,
& Rogaev, E. I. (2017). Complete mitochondrial genome and evolutionary analysis of Turritopsis
dohrnii, the “immortal” jellyfish with a reversible life-cycle. Molecular phylogenetics and evolution, 107,
Petrescu-Mag, I. V., Proorocu, M., & Oroian, F. C. (2021). Jellyfish, aging and cancer research.
Extreme Life, Biospeology and Astrobiology, 13(1), 2-6.
Ulanova, E. (2018). Vitreledonella richardi (glass octopus).
WoRMS Editorial Board (2022). World Register of Marine Species. Available from https://www.
marinespecies.org at VLIZ. Accessed 2022-07-01. doi:10.14284/170