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Variation! No two living things are alike.


Today, KTS detectives discovered the second clue to solve the mystery of mysteries: Everybody is different! Sometimes the differences are obvious, some other times, they are subtle.

Just look around. Members of the same species are pretty similar and children often resemble their parents, but there are always differences between individuals, no matter how closely related they are.

In today's activity, the kids' reptiles, copies of Graciela's imaginary reptile, naturally looked quite different from the original. There was a lot of variation.

Graciela's reptile


The kids' replicas


The variation came from small "mistakes" made by the children when they tried to copy the original. In nature, things work quite differently, as we'll see in the coming two weeks.

But what about that variation? Is it any good? Just play the Beak Game and you'll see.

In an imaginary original population, birds have one of two types of beaks. Short and long.

They live in an environment with two types of plants, producing large or small seeds. How does the beak type affect what they eat?

Mastering the art of beak manipulation, the kids found out by themselves.

Next time we'll see what beaks were more useful and what happened after a great fire eliminated nearly all small-seed producing plants. Who will survive?

It's important to have variation in a population, but changes are neither good nor bad. It all depends on the circumstances!

Stay tuned!


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Williamsburg, Brooklyn  

1.5 blocks from Bedford station

on the L train 

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