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Gray’s Leaf Insect ‘Pera kolaya’ | Pic by: nickbay Source : Flicker

In nature, every advantage increases an animal’s chances of survival. Some blends in with their environment so that others might overlook them. Whether it’s a gecko blending into bark, a tiger fading into foliage or a Gray’s leaf insect

(‘Pera kolaya’) attached on a guava tree, good camo can mean the difference between eating and being eaten. Ways to camouflage differ relying on various factors; the biology and behavior of the animal, then the predator and the environment, in which the animal lives and prey on its food.

Imitation
Blending in with the environment is the most common approach. What usually happens is than an animal imitates the coloration of its natural habitat which called concealing coloration, although some species are known to be able to adjust their coloration.

The most common example is chameleon. Chameleons exhibit remarkable optical phenomena. A chameleon’s skin can quickly and dramatically change color; they change their color by manipulating specialized cells called ‘chromatophores’ that contain different colors of pigment. When a chameleon wants to convey a particular mood or message, its brain sends a message to its chromatophores, which then move pigments around to change the chameleon’s color.

On the vast savannas of Africa, leopards use their coloration and spots as a hunting tool, because it enables them to blend in easily with the tall grasses as they stalk their prey. Peringuey’s vipers sliding through sand does the same act to obtain their prey. Uroplatus Gecko might look like it has been overrun with moss, but that’s its skin. This is the mossy leaf-tailed gecko, a master of disguise found only in the forests of Madagascar.

Disruptive coloration
Disruptive coloration is when animals have stripes, spots or patterns to break up their outline so it doesn’t stick out against the back ground. Surprisingly, sometimes the best way to hide oneself  is to stick with the herd. When a lion walk by a bunch of zebras, it only sees a big striped mass. Some fish that are covered in bright vertical stripes might also be clearly visible when alone, but if a large group of them swims by, a predator will see an unidentified colored blob. So, it ensures the survival of them.

Disguise and mimicry
These masters of disguise playing hide-and-seek in the wild, sometimes blend in with the surroundings by looking like another object. An insect that looks like a branch or leaf is using a costume to hide from predators. The stick insect, Gray’s leaf insect (‘Pera kolaya’) is the most common examples from your garden. In same way Baron Caterpillars evolved their elaborate shapes and colors for that single purpose: hiding from predators. Less than an inch long and studded with coral-like “tubercles,”
pygmy seahorse ensures its survival hiding among corals.

Some forms of mimicry are related to camouflage, in which a species resembles its surroundings or is otherwise difficult to detect. They pretend to look like other dangerous, distasteful or poisonous animals or insects. Some snakes, butterflies and moths use this type of camouflage. The viceroy butterfly mimics the look of the poisonous monarch butterfly so that predators will avoid eating her. Counter-shading is also a form of camouflage in which the top of an animal’s body is darker in color, while its underside is lighter. Sharks use counter-shading.

When seen from above, they blend in with the darker ocean water below. This helps them hunt because prey species below may not see a shark until it’s too late. However, all the forms of Camouflage is an ancient art, likely not much younger than vision itself, evolved thorough out the history and species around the planet depend on it daily for survival.

’A big striped mass’, a herd of zebras  |  Source: sciencephoto.com/
’A big striped mass’, a herd of zebras |
Source: sciencephoto.com/
Peringuey’s viper sliding through sand in search of prey |  Source: ZUMA press
Peringuey’s viper sliding through sand in search of prey |
Source: ZUMA press
Baron caterpillar on a leaf |  Pic by: Wohinauswandern Source: Flicker
Baron caterpillar on a leaf |
Pic by: Wohinauswandern
Source: Flicker
Pygmy seahorse hiding among corals |  Pic by: Steve Childs Source: Flicker
Pygmy seahorse hiding among corals |
Pic by: Steve Childs
Source: Flicker
Mossy leaf- tailed gecko |  Source: websterswildshots.com/
Mossy leaf- tailed gecko |
Source: websterswildshots.com/
Cameleon ‘The master of Camouflage’ Pic by: Abhedya  |  Source : Flicker
Cameleon ‘The master of Camouflage’
Pic by: Abhedya |
Source : Flicker

Life blends in (3)

Viceroy butterfly mimicking the poisonous Monarch butterfly |  Source: oakdome.com/
Viceroy butterfly mimicking the poisonous Monarch butterfly |
Source: oakdome.com/