Fat Intake


“Got milk?” A newborn Weddell seal pup calls for his mom.
A natural behavior among mammals after they are born is to nurse from their moms during their initial growth periods. Nursing is the process through which a young mammal suckles milk from its mom’s teats, which is the same as a nursing human baby suckling milk from his or her mother’s breasts. Young mammals nurse until they are old enough to find and eat food on their own. The length of the nursing period and the nutrients in mom’s milk determine how fast a young mammal will grow, and varies between mammals, depending on the environment in which a young mammal is born and raised.
In the following activity, students will learn how the milk that Weddell seal pups drink from their moms helps to protect the pups from the freezing Antarctic temperatures. This activity is math-intensive, and emphasizes density and mathematical conversions to demonstrate using consistent units when calculating scientific results. Besides a calculator, no additional materials are required, and the activity should take 30 – 45 minutes.

A young Weddell seal pup nursing from his mom.


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