Hide and Seek Grand Champion
πŸ“Έ by @mehmet_krc_krc

Empusa fasciata mantis showing off her camo

As a hunter and equally as the hunted, the ability to make yourself invisible or visually harder to detect is an invaluable asset in the never-ending fight to stay alive.

This concealing colouration on display by the mantis is known as a fixed camouflage.

Some sharks have a light-coloured belly so that when they are above you, they are hard to detect against the light-coloured ocean surface and the light shining through. Same goes for when you look down into the darkness of the ocean, visual detection is difficult because of their dark topside.

Other animals can change their appearance at will, based on where they are. Some examples of this would be octopus, stone fish and flatfish who are able to change the pigment of their skin in order to hide among the background until its time to strike.

There is also seasonal camouflage, a good example of this is arctic foxes: white during winter to blend in with the snowy background and brown/grey during the summer months, providing them cover against the tundra’s rocks and plants.

Along with these examples, there are other different methods of visual deception. Large felines like the tiger, leopard, and jaguar use disruptive colouration in the form of stripes and spots. Some birds use masks to conceal the location of their eyes, which is more often than not a dead giveaway of their location.

Then there’s disguise and mimicry.

Some insects will take on the appearance of something known to be inanimate like a leaf or a stick in order to hide from predators. Mimicry comes into play when a harmless animal adopts a more dangerous/poisonous animals colouration in order to deter other predators from messing with them. A good example of this is the harmless scarlet kingsnake, who has evolved to look like the coral snake, which are extremely venomous.

No matter what type of camouflage an animal employs, visual deception plays an integral role in the natural order of things.



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