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“The Lion King” An Ecological Study Questions # 1 – 8 refer to specific scenes. Be careful not to miss the answers to these questions as you watch. After watching the movie, respond to each of the following questions. Questions # 9 – 12 refer to the movie as a whole. 1) In the opening scene Scar is about to consume a mouse. What type of relationship does scar and the mouse have? In ecological terms, identify the role of the mouse and the role of Scar. 2) During a lion and cub moment, Mufasa says to Simba, “Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance…..respect all creatures”. How can this quote be related to the concept of the food web, pyramid of energy, and/or the pyramid of biomass? What is the implied warning from Mufusa? What could happen if this balance is not respected? Indicate a scene in the movie that is an example of this loss of balance. 3) In an attempt to explain the Circle of Life, Mufasa says to Simba; “when we die our bodies become the grass……the antelope eat the grass……” How is this possible? Describe the process that Mufasa is referring to in detail. Specifically explain what organisms play a role in this process. 4) When Simba falls from exhaustion after running away from Pride Rock, Vultures begin to encircle him. What nutritional role do these vultures play in the ecosystem? 5) Pumba asks Simba “What’s eating you?” Timone jokes, “Nothing, he’s at the top of the food chain!” What does Timone mean? What is one advantage and one disadvantage of being at the top of the food chain? 6) When Simba is staring up into the stars at the image of his father, Mufusa says “You are more than what you have become….remember who you are….you must take your place in the circle of life”. What is the significance of this statement from an ecological perspective? 7) During the final scene, lightning strikes the Pride Land igniting a fire that burns out the existing dead brush and trees. This fire is symbolic of the end of an era of an unstable ecosystem. As time passes, pride rock is transformed back into a healthy climax community. What ecological term specifically describes this change in the ecosystem? Explain whether you would describe it as primary or secondary succession and why. 8) Rafiki states “It is time”. On the surface, one might think he is only referring to Simba replacing Scar as King. However, he is referring to something greater. What does Simba replacing Scar symbolize? What occurred in the movie to reflect this transition? 9) Identify a food chain consisting of organisms in the movie. Include at least three organisms and be sure to identify which organism are the producer, primary consumer and secondary consumer. In addition, state the nutritional modality of the consumers (Is it an herbivore, carnivore, etc.) 10) Make a list of as many organisms you can identify that contributed to a balanced ecosystem in an around Pride Rock. Categorize the organisms by their nutritional modality (producer, herbivore, carnivore, omnivore, decomposer). You must have at least ten organisms to earn full credit. 11) Identify three biotic factors and three abiotic factors you witnessed in the movie. 12) During the movie Simba is in three different biomes. Identify the three biomes and describe characteristics of the biome that allowed you to identify it.
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