Science KS1/KS2: How animals have adapted to become successful predators

In this short film for primary schools Michaela Strachan visits an owl sanctuary with some primary school pupils to find out how a barn owl is adapted to be a successful predator.

She explains several facts about how the owl has evolved and the students take part in an experiment in getting the owl's attention by making mouse noises.

Michaela explains several owl adaptations, including how it has evolved to have a curved beak to catch prey, feather adaption for silent flight, lots of extra bones in their neck which enables them to move their head around, and how their ears are adapted to enable them to pinpoint where a sound comes from.

This short film is from the BBC series, Evolutionwatch.

Teacher Notes

Students could collect some owl pellets and identify the bones within the pellet (you may need external support with this).

As a class activity, pupils could stand in a circle blindfolded. One pupil could be acting as predator (owl) and one as prey (mouse). The owl-pupil is blindfolded to mimic using their ears to hunt. The mouse-pupil squeaks until the owl catches them.

A less energetic version of this game could be to use funnels and tubes to act as ears so that the pupils can locate each other.

Pupils could examine different types of feathers.

Curriculum Notes

This short film will be relevant for teaching primary science, particularly on the topics of animals and evolution.

More from Evolutionwatch:

Why do animals and plants have camouflage?
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How have animal skeletons adapted?
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What is selective breeding?
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Different types of leaves
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Timeline of life on Earth
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