This week we learned about animals who use disguises, camouflage, and even play-acting and why. The kids already knew the why (thanks to Animal Planet) ~ to keep from being eaten or to hide so they can catch prey. We read Amazing Animal Disguises written by Sandie Sowler.
Some interesting facts we learned while reading:
Why Zebras have stripes ~ Lions (who are colorblind) are confused by a zebra’s stripes, which in the bright sun can disguise the zebra’s shape. In dim light, the stripes of the zebras standing in herds, merge together and help the zebras blend into the background.
Some animals have color cells in their skin that allow them to change their skin color. They do this to blend with the background, to show emotion (like love, aww!), and to cool down or heat up. We made chameleons out of transparency paper to show how they change color.
An octopus can change the color, and the texture, of its skin.
Emily’s thought the Javanese Leaf Insect was cool. Looks like a real leaf doesn’t it!
Aiden’s couldn’t stop talking about the opossum and the hognose snake, both play dead when threatened ~ typical boy.
This is a picture of a opossum playing dead.
To demonstrate how animals use camouflage we grabbed some of our plastic animals and insects and headed outside for a little hide and seek.
We took turns hiding the critters around the yard. The first picture shows were we hid the animal/insect. Can you see it and tell what it is? We were amazed how hard it was to spot them! The second picture is a close up. Even though the animals and insects are plastic it really shows how they use camouflage to blend into their surroundings.