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Picky Eaters

In this match-up activity, students develop an appreciation for the varied diets of different animals.

Animals eat different things depending upon where they live, what else lives there, what time of year it is, what their mouth is shaped like, and if they use tools.

Each species living in an ecosystem has a specific combination of preferred food, time of day to find food, and method of finding food. If each species has a unique combination of these, competition for food is kept to a minimum, and the biodiversity in an ecosystem can be greater.


  • Compare and contrast the features of other animals.


Key Questions

  • Why did you match that picky eater to that particular menu item?
  • Why do we eat what we eat?
  • How are we different than animals in terms of what we eat and how we obtain it? Would you eat that? Why/why not? Under which conditions might you change your mind?
  • Why do some animals eat at night and others during the day?

What To Do

  1. Introduce the concept of picky eating and its role in animal survival.
  2. Ask the students to complete the Picky Eaters Matching Sheet by drawing a line to connect the food with the eater.
  3. Go over the answers as a class.


  • Investigate how varied a human diet is. What unusual foods do humans in other parts of the world eat?
  • What happens to the bodies of humans who eat a varied diet of nutritious food and keep junk food to a minimum? See TIME's Hungry Planet: What the World Eats photo series for examples of a week’s worth of groceries for families around the world.