Roly Polies Came From the Sea to Conquer the Earth

Roly polies or pill bugs? No matter what you call them, these organisms are unique. Biology scholars discover a true evolutionary success story in a video about tiny, land-dwelling crustaceans. The narrator describes their journey from sea to land, identifies the structures that link them to shrimp and lobsters, and shows how the rotting log or stone you'll find them under is all that keeps them breathing.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Bring a small habitat full of roly polies to class so students can observe them
  • Use the video to illustrate adaptation and evolution
Classroom Considerations

  • Make sure science scholars are savvy with insect and crustacean anatomy

  • Close-up shots of the roly poly's shell and gills help pupils understand their functions, as well as reinforces their link to other crustaceans
  • Showing roly polies in their natural habitat provides the class with a look at their niche in the forest ecosystem

  • None
Common Core