- Ecology and Evolution
What will happen when imaginary Sasquatch families need to leave the temperate rainforest of British Columbia and settle in other North American biomes? In this activity students investigate how adaptations ensure that animals survive in their habitat.
This is a Sasquatch (Sasquatch originalis).
It is a fictional mammal that lives in the mountains of BC in a temperate rainforest biome. The climate is moderate. Here, fresh, flowing water is readily available year-round. An adult Sasquatch is approximately 2 metres tall and has thick, brown fur and padded hands and feet with blunt claws. The Sasquatch is an omnivore, who prefers to eat small mammals, mushrooms and the needles of coniferous trees. The Sasquatch has no major predators, although on rare occasions one will be eaten by a desperately hungry bear. The Sasquatch must hunt quickly and carefully, because the animals they like to eat will run away quickly at any sight or sound of them.
A disaster has destroyed the area where all Sasquatches live. In order to survive, the Sasquatches begin to roam all over North America in search of food and shelter. As they travel farther away from their original home, the food, climate and surrounding life forms slowly change. Sasquatch groups become separated by distance and members can only now mate with those in the same travelling group. As time passes, Sasquatch babies will be born and many sasquatches will also die. Some Sasquatches are not able to stay alive in climates that are much hotter, colder or drier than the temperate rainforest. Many have difficulty finding food and some may get eaten by predators. Future generations of Sasquatches will find themselves living in very different environments and only those who are well adapted to those environments will be able to survive and reproduce.
For the area assigned to you, predict how the Sasquatches may change after 1,000 generations have been born in the new environment.