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There are some animals with special adaptations that help them blend in to the places they live! See for yourself how this works as you take on the role of a hungry bird looking for tasty bugs!
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Hi, everybody!

Where's Squeaks? Haha, you got me!

Squeaks, you blend right in! You know, there are lots of animals that blend in, just like you do with lab equipment! These animals blend in with the natural things around them, so that it’s harder for other animals to find them and eat them.

Like this weird-looking bug! [Squeaks squeaks] I know, Squeaks! It looks just like a stick! But this is actually a kind of bug that’s called a stick insect, since it looks so much like a stick.

These insects live in places with lots of trees and bushes, and they blend in really well. For lots of animals, like birds, a stick insect would be a tasty snack. But it’s hard for them to spot a stick insect, since it looks just like the real sticks around it.

And if they can’t find the stick insect, they can’t eat it. So blending in helps stick insects survive. Do you want to see how animals survive by blending in?

Let’s do an experiment! One of the reasons stick insects look so much like the sticks around them is that they’re the same color. So for this experiment, you’re going to pretend to be a bird looking through the grass for some nice, delicious bugs to have for lunch.

We’re going to see if you find more green bugs, more red bugs, or the same amount of both kinds of bugs. All you’ll need is a friend to help you, a timer, a green, grassy spot, and 10 green things and 10 red things to use as your pretend-bugs. We've made our pretend-bugs out of construction paper, but your bugs can be anything: clothespins, paper clips, or even small toys, as long as they’re all about the same size, and half of them are green and half of them are red.

Once you have your pretend-bugs, go to your grassy spot. When you’re surrounded by green grass, close your eyes and then ask your friend to spread the red and green bugs around. Then, have them start a timer for 30 seconds and say “go!” Open your eyes, pretend to be a hungry bird, and grab as many bugs as you can!

When your 30 seconds are up, stop and count how many bugs of each color you caught. Then, repeat your experiment by letting your friend take a turn searching for bugs. Are you ready?!

Let’s try it! (music) Okay, time’s up! Let’s look at the bugs that we caught! Hmm, it looks like you got… 8 red ones… and 5 green bugs!

Wow! We got way more red bugs than green ones! That makes sense, since the red bugs were easier to see.

The green ones blended in with the grass around them, so they were much harder to find! Being green helped the bugs survive, just like looking like a stick helps stick insects survive. If these bugs were real, then after the bird had their lunch, there wouldn’t be many red bugs left to have red babies.

But there would be lots of green bugs left to have green babies. So there would be way more green bug babies than red bug babies. And if you kept eating the red bugs, then after a while, all of the babies being born might be green.

So, since being green helped the bugs survive, over time, there would be more green bugs! Try this experiment at home and let us know how you do! And, once your experiment is over, make sure to clean up the rest of your bugs.

So what do you think, Squeaks? Aren’t disguises cool? (Squeaks shrieks) Ha! Just kidding!

Do you have any questions about all the amazing ways animals survive and change over time? Let us know, by asking a grown up to help you leave a comment below or email us at kids@scishow.com. We’ll see you next time!