Kids Get a Biology Lesson

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Marine biologists at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum have wrapped up their annual five-week Shell Studies program for The Sanibel School’s 6th grade students. The program introduces students to mollusks, the animals that create shells, and their importance to the ecosystem.

One lesson showcased mollusks’ unique adaptations such as ink, slime, camouflage, tentacles, and jet propulsion. During another lesson, marine biologists took a deep dive into several local gastropod and bivalve species, teaching students fun facts about the creatures they might find on Sanibel’s beaches. Students then chose 3 different mollusks to research and presented their findings to the class.

The Shell Studies program culminated with a field trip to the Museum. Students biked over from the Sanibel School and explored the Great Hall of Shells and the marine life in the Beyond Shells Living Gallery.
The students accompanied Museum Marine Biologists at the “Shell Shack” during the 85th annual Shell Festival at the Sanibel Community House on Saturday, March 5th. Students shared their newfound knowledge about local mollusks with festival visitors and answered questions about mollusks on display in the tanks including Horse Conchs, Florida Fighting Conchs, Lettered Olives, Crown Conchs, Banded Tulips, Lightning Whelks, and Ponderous Arks.

The 2022 Shell Studies Program was made possible by a grant from the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club.

Click HERE for more information.

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