Animal Camouflage Project

Make the wonders of nature part of your April Fool’s Day curriculum! 

Students (and teachers!) love to play tricks on April 1, commonly known to us as April Fool’s Day.  It is definitely a day to be on alert as someone is surely going to try to trick you! 

In nature, animals play tricks on each other all the time, using camouflage!  Camouflage is an adaptation that allows animals to blend in with certain parts of their natural environment.  It helps animals hide from their predators and therefore increase their chance of survival. 

There are four basic types of camouflage:

Concealing coloration:  An animal hides itself against a background of the same color.  For example, in the Arctic, animals such as the polar bear and snowy owl have white coloring to blend in with the white, snowy background.  Conversely, in the desert, many animals have tan coloration, such as coyotes and snakes, to help them blend in with the tan / brown desert background.


 

 

Disruptive coloration:  This type of camouflage describes animals that have spots, stripes, or patterns to break up their outline so they don’t stick out against their background.  Zebras, leopards, and tigers use this type of camouflage. 

 

 


 

Disguise:  Animals blend in with their surroundings by looking like another object, such as a tree, leaf or rock.  Walking sticks and katydids use this type of camouflage.

 

 


 

Mimicry:  Animals or insects look like another bad tasting or poisonous animal or insect.  They pretend to be something they are not so other animals will leave them alone.  The scarlet king snake, Viceroy butterfly and hawk moth use this type of camouflage.

 


After discussing the four types of camouflage, visit http://www.boredpanda.com/animal-camouflage/ for some unbelievable images of animal camouflage!

Pull up an image.  First, challenge students to find the animal.  Second, challenge them to identify the type of camouflage the animal is using. And have a great April Fool's Day!

References:

http://oakdome.com/k5/lesson-plans/powerpoint/animal-camouflage-pictures-and-information.php