1 – Brainstorming

13/8/12 Monday

We employed the “force-fitting” method to come up with new ideas.


  1. We chose an object (we got an eyeglass holder) from a bag
  2. We examined it and listed down its physical attributes
  3. We compiled these into a mindmap and tried to find ways to use these attributes for our organism

Link to mindmap: https://www.mindmeister.com/193446817

Eyeglass holder


I think this method is not very useful when starting brainstorming, as my group and I had many ideas popping into our heads the moment we got our PT. Therefore we were somewhat unable to concentrate on observing the attributes of the object.

Thus I feel that the “Morphology matrix” would have been more appropriate for us to start with. After that, we could use the “force-fitting method” to increase the creativity of our answers and improve on them.

14/8/12 Tuesday

Today we had our 2nd group discussion.

After doing some research on the conditions of the tundra, we chose the plain (as in an expanse of flat land) habitat to focus on.

Some useful links:



Some members felt that the mountain habitat had more room to explore in terms of adaptations due to its extreme weather. However, majority still felt that the plain was the main source of life for the environment, as it has the greatest amount of plants growing there and serves as a water source during summer. Therefore, it would be restrictive to only focus on the mountain habitat, as it is highly unlikely that animals would stay on the mountain throughout the year . This is why we chose the plain as our habitat to focus on.

We have not decided on the features of the habitat yet (e.g. rocky, covered with shrubs).

These are some sample pictures we used to give ourselves a better idea of the habitat.

Summer tundra

Winter tundra

After yesterday’s experience, I tried employing the “morphology matrix” method in coming up with ideas, as well as used some attributes of the eyeglass holder. This is my table:

Ideas for organism’s adaptations

Coping with the weather

Nutrition – how to get food etc.



Survival from predators

Thick layer of waterproof fur Because of large body size, it has to eat less Builds several burrows to rear young, switches between them frequently Long legs to prevent drowning in waterlogged soil Colour of fur changes according to the season-  brown in summer

–  grey-white in winter

Sheds fur in summer to prevent overheating Able to balance on hind legs to get food Produces many young during summertime——————

Produces few young but takes care of them for a long time

Shiny, glossy fur?- during summer
Body has small surface area to volume ratio to retain heat better Large flat molars and sharp incisors to grind and tear producer respectively Rears young in groups Soft padded feet Good eyesight
Warm-blooded Digestive system maximises water intake from food Mammal Hooves Good sense of hearing
Digestive system removes almost all water from faeces Food hoarding Run Good sense of smell
Long nasal cavity to warm air before it enters lungs –> reduces energy needed for heat production Strong muscles, large paws to dig underneath the snow to find food Hop Strong leg muscles able to outrun predators, burrow into snow
Burrowing to keep warm Flexibility Stays in groups
Small ears Tail in a contrasting colour, flashes it to warn others of danger
Large paws like snowshoes Horns/antlers to fend off predators
Hibernation during winter? Thick skin
Hard shell
Looks like a rock (mimicry)
footpads have fur to increase traction

Cannot be implemented

Flying– wind speed is too high, energy is wasted overcoming the resistance