Why Are Predators So Cute?

Science At Home People and Place

Have you seen a viral video of a predator baby animal recently?

Animals that grow into dangerous predators, like tigers and bears, start as cubs that humans want to cuddle. What is the code to cuteness that enables us to ignore their dark eyes, sharp claws, and piercing teeth?

Gif of three bears brown walking through the snow
PBS Nature Snow GIF By Nature On PBS

What’s the Science?

A predator is an animal that hunts or preys on other animals for food. The animals they eat are known as prey. Predators and their prey are an important part of the food chain.

Each animal body part is important. An animal’s body structure determines how it moves, gets food, finds shelter, breathes and defend themselves. On this page, we challenge you to design your own predator. While you work, use the animal part characteristics below to help you consider how each part helps an animal to function and survive.

Create Your Own Cute Predator

Writing Utensil

Paper or Drawing Tool on iPad

Coloring Materials

Optional: craft supplies, like scissors, glue, googly eyes, feathers, etc

Activity Instructions


What kind of animal would you like to create?

Use a pencil or erasable writing utensil to sketch and list brainstorm ideas.

Finalize Your Ideas

Narrow down your list of ideas on your brainstorming sketch.

Use a pencil or stylus to create your final outline of your new animal. Darken your project outline with pens, markers, or colors of your choice. Add googly eyes or feathers if you’d like.

Bring It To Life!

Who did you make? Name your animal and write some information about them. What’s their habitat? Special features? Defense mechanisms? What do they eat?

Share with a loved one and encourage them to make one too!

What Did You Discover?

Let’s Think

What makes an animal a predator?

What are some characteristics of predator species that help them catch prey?

Could human life have an impact on the creature you created?

How can humans help conserve endangered predators?

More Ideas

Prey/Predator Matching Game

Visit the link below to print and cut out the cards, flip them over, and play a fun memory matching game. Challenge yourself or a friend by making your own with index cards!

Hands on Science: PBS

If an animal eats other animals, it’s a predator. If an animal is eaten by other animals, it’s prey. And many times, it’s BOTH! PBS explores this topic in a hands on science video.

Explore All!

Check out OMSI’s Science at Home videos and experiments.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

This project is made possible by a grant from the Marie Lamfrom Charitable Foundation.

Featured Photo Credit: “National Zoo’s Lion Cubs Take a Swim Test” by Mehgan Murphy/Smithsonian’s National Zoo