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Day in the Life of a Predator, A (JHARVNC)

TopicLaboratory and Hands-on Activities - Food Chain / Web of Life
Wildlife - Mammals
Summary
Organisms constantly interact with other organisms. Do those interactions help or harm an animal? Through a hands-on activity, participants will discover a variety of relationships such as predation.
Grade LevelK - 12
Recommended SettingOutside, large area
LocationJanet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center, Fort Smith
Contact
Education Program Coordinator, 479-452-3993
Duration30 - 45 minutes
Suggested Number of Participants25 - 30 per group
Special Conditions
Weather permitting, outdoors activity
Objectives
  • Describe adaptations to predator/prey relationships, such as camouflage.
  • Explain the importance of adaptations to predator/prey relationships.
  • Describe how predator/prey relationships limit wildlife populations.
Key Terms*

Camouflage

Habitat

Limiting factors

Population

Predator

Prey

Materials

Camouflage blanket and a brightly colored blanket

Background

Before participants begin the activities, briefly discuss the predator/prey relationship. Populations of animals that feed on other organisms are called predators. An example is a coyote because it relies on senses and keen sight to find prey. The populations that predators eat are called prey. Examples are rabbits that rely on camouflage for survival.

Procedure
  1. Gather participants in a line at an outdoor area.
  2. Introduce the concepts of predator/prey relationships.
  3. Play the Coyote/Rabbit Game
    • Have one volunteer be a predator
    • Have two participants volunteer to use the blankets as cover, one camouflage and one the bright blanket
    • Explain that the predator is a coyote looking for bunnies and must stay in one place. He can turn around, squat or lean but cannot move from his location to find his prey.
    • Explain that the prey (rabbits) will have 25 seconds to find a location to “hide” within site. Then the predator will begin looking for his prey. Prey must hide where they can still see the predator.
    • Let the game begin. The predator must call the name of each person that is spotted. These “rabbits” have been “eaten” by the predator and return to the original line.
    • Repeat the game if there is enough time.
  4. After several rounds, review the concepts.
Review
  • Describe the importance of adaptations to animals.
  • Give at least two examples of animal adaptations.
  • How are predators adapted to survive?
  • How is prey adapted to survive?
  • Define a predator/prey relationship.
Related Documents
Glossary

Camouflage – colors, tones, patterns, shapes or behavior an organism uses to blend in with its surroundings: also concealment that alters or obscures the appearance; also protective coloration, a common animal defense

 

Habitat – an arrangement of food, water, shelter or cover, and space suitable to animals’ needs

 

Limiting factors – elements that affect the amount of wildlife a habitat can sustain, including food, water, space, predators, disease and pollution

 

Population – all the members of one species in a particular area

 

Predator – an animal that hunts and kills other animals, usually for food

 

Prey – an animal that is killed and eaten by another animal