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Recommended for ages 5+

Estimated time: 20 minutes

Using materials found at home, create an animal that’s adapted to survive in a deep ocean habitat.

The Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary is an underwater, coral-topped mountain off the coast of Point Reyes. Its nutrient-rich waters attract animals from all over the Pacific Ocean, and many animals also live there year-round.

Explore the Cordell Bank website to see which marine mammals, seabirds, and fishes live there, and how they’ve evolved unique adaptations to survive there. Virtually “visit” Cordell Bank through video footage and see for yourself what makes Cordell Bank a special place.

Today we challenge you to use recycled materials and art supplies found at home to create a critter with adaptations to survive at Cordell Bank.

Think about…

Science Vocabulary

habitat: a place or environment where an animal lives

adaptation: a change in an animal’s body or behavior that helps them survive in their habitat

Make your own critter


Any art supplies or materials found at home. Suggestions include:

  • Toilet paper tubes
  • Egg cartons
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Bottle caps
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Glue or tape
  • Markers
  • Scissors

The Create-a-Critter Challenge

Use materials found at home to create an ocean critter (real or imaginary) with adaptations to help it survive at the Cordell Bank.

Design a critter with at least 3 adaptations: