Friday, September 6, 2013

Hide-and-Seek Science: Animal Camouflage

Hide-and-Seek Science: Animal Camouflage
by Emma Stevenson
32 pages; ages 6 - 10
Holiday House, 2013

Children play hide-and-seek for fun. But for animals, it's not just a game. For some, writes Emma Stevenson, it's a matter of life and death.

Why do animals need to hide? Some hide from predators that want to eat them. Predators hide so they can sneak up on their prey. In her book, Stevenson includes 293 animals hiding in diverse habitats. Your challenge, should you decide to accept it, is to find them.

Stevenson shows how animals use camouflage in seven different ecosystems: the Florida Everglades; the Sahara desert in North Africa; the Amazon rainforest in South America; an East African savanna;  an English forest; the Arctic; and Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Each ecosystem receives a full spread and is crowded with animals one might see in that place - if they weren't well hidden!

Fortunately, she follows each spread with a picture-key that shows where each animal is, and how it uses camouflage to blend in with its environment. The Everglades swamp, for example: Alligators' eyes and nostrils are high on their heads so they can hide underwater. You have to look closely to find all four in the picture.

Animals in a deciduous forest blend in with the greens and browns, while those living in the Arctic have to blend in with the frozen landscape. Even zebras, with their black-and-white stripes that look so obvious when you see them in a zoo, blend in with their grassland habitat.

This is a fun way to sharpen skills of observation, learn about animals, and gain an appreciation for the ecological diversity on our planet.

This is part of the STEM Friday round-up. Check out the other science books and resources reviewed this week.

Then, on Monday, find us celebrating Nonfiction Monday with a round-up of reviews over at Wendie's Wanderings. Review f&g provided by publisher.


  1. 293! That's a lot!

    I love the carpet shark, it really does blend in, and reminds me of my grandmother's couch circa 1980!

  2. Neat idea to tie in camouflage with the idea of habitat as well.