Snakes are hunters - but they have natural enemies, too. Birds, raccoons, foxes and coyotes see snakes as tasty fast food. Sometimes the patterns on a snake's skin look vivid to us, but in their natural habitat those rings and blotches blend into the background. Designs can help break up the snake's outline.
Test it: Cut out a dozen snake shapes from cardboard. Then, using a field guide, color your snakes to match some of the patterns of snakes in nature.
Now head out to do some field research. Take your cardboard snakes to a wooded area and scatter them around. Challenge your friends to find the snakes - and write down (on the back of the snakes) which order they were found (first, second....). Then go to a different habitat, like a grassy area or a rocky area. Scatter your snakes around and see which ones are found first.
Do some patterns work better than others? Why?
Check out other things happening over at STEM Friday.