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Animal Coverings: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 Coverings
  • 0:35 Fur
  • 1:02 Feathers
  • 1:34 Scales
  • 2:01 Shells & Exoskeletons
  • 2:57 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Mark Boster
Have you ever noticed the beauty of a zebra or raccoon fur? How about the beautiful feathers of a goose or owl? Different animals have different coverings for many different reasons. Come find out what some of the reasons are.

Coverings

When you go outside to play, do you wear the same thing, no matter what the weather is? Of course not! If it's snowing, you wear a coat. If it's hot, you might wear shorts. If it's raining, maybe you wear a raincoat and boots. Just like us, animals have on whatever covering will work best for their environment.

The are basically four types of animal covering: fur, feathers, scales, and shells and exoskeletons. Let's look at these one at a time.

Fur

All mammals have fur of one sort or another. It may be small hairs or a full fur coat. Fur helps keep the animal warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Some animals shed their fur to get their winter fur or summer fur. If you have a dog or a cat, you have probably noticed that they shed at certain times of the year.

Sometimes the fur helps animals hide from those wanting to hurt or kill them. This is called camouflage.

Feathers

All birds have feathers. Feathers do a few different things. One thing feathers do is help keep birds supported while they're flying in the air. Some birds, like penguins, don't fly, but their feathers help keep them warm in colder climates.

Have you ever noticed that if a duck puts its head underwater, it still comes up dry? That's because feathers also help keep birds dry.

Some feathers also help to camouflage animals so they can hide from predators wanting to eat them or so they can hide and sneak up on prey they want to eat.

Scales

Some animals need scales to help them move. For example, the scales on the underside of a snake help it to grab the ground so it can slither along.

Sometimes the scales help the animal to protect itself. The scales are hard so they can provide a sort of armor for the animal.

The scales on a fish make a slime that makes it easier for them to escape enemies and protects them from diseases. As with the other types of coverings, scales also provide camouflage.

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