Camouflage: Hide and Seek
Today the 5th and 6th graders learned about how animals use camouflage and mimicry to adapt to their environments and increase their chances of survival. Students took a trip through oceans, forests, and rainforests exploring how different animals have developed different types of camouflage to better adapt to their habitats. Students enjoyed finding hidden animals and discussing specific kinds of animals that have developed exceptionally unique types of camouflage. They were amazed watching videos of an octopus contorting its body and changing its color and texture to blend in with underwater plants!
We also learned about animal mimicry, which occurs when an organism evolves to look like another and we discussed the reasons why this might happen. Examples of mimicry include a tasty and harmless moth evolving to look like a wasp or a nonvenomous snake evolving to have the same colors as a venomous snake. Another example is found in the movie Finding Nemo! Some predators, such as the angler fish, disguise themselves as something harmless to help lure in unsuspecting prey.
We wrapped up our lesson with a fun camouflage hunting game in which student hunters, stranded on a remote island, had to develop hunting techniques to identify and successfully capture their food for survival. The idea was to test the effect of different colored backgrounds on the number of each color bead (camouflaged prey) taken. This camouflage lesson is always a student favorite!
Want to learn more about camouflage? Check out this video on the Indonesian Mimic Octopus: