Day in the Life of a Predator, A (JHARVNC)
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.
K - 12
Outside, large area
Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center, Fort Smith
Education Program Coordinator, 479-452-3993
30 - 45 minutes
Suggested Number of Participants:
25 - 30 per group
Weather permitting, outdoors activity
- 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.
*See glossary for definations
Camouflage blanket and a brightly colored blanket
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.
- Gather participants in a line at an outdoor area.
- Introduce the concepts of predator/prey relationships.
- 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.
- After several rounds, review the concepts.
- 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.
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