This series of fun 2‑minute videos present biological strategies and their corresponding function.

Objectives

  • Viewers are introduced to specific organisms' adaptations and their functions.
  • Viewers are encouraged to think about how the featured organism's strategies for survival can inform human‑made designs.

AskNature Nuggets are a series of 23 short videos created to highlight the amazing strategies and adaptations that occur in the natural world. Each episode answers a “How does nature:____?” question and ends with a prompt to think about what we could learn from the featured organism.

In the classroom, these videos can be used to introduce students to a variety of natural phenomena and get them thinking about ways to apply inspiration from nature.

Here are a few of our favorite episodes. Browse the complete series in our Vimeo channel (link at the bottom of the page).

How do trees make materials?

Trees are one of nature’s premier polymer producers–and they build them using CO2 in the air all around us.

How do feather barbules attach?

Janine Benyus explains a special structural property of feathers.

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How do octopuses change color?

The octopus has some amazing camouflage strategies. What could we learn from the “chameleon of the sea?”

How do cacti survive desert heat?

Learn how the saguaro and barrel cactus create their own shade to withstand intense sun and dry conditions.

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How do pangolins protect themselves?

Learn about the pangolin’s personal coat of armor.

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