Camouflage is an important survival tool in the animal world. It helps animals hide from danger and get close to prey. So for those doing the hiding, it can make it harder for predators to find them. For those that hunt, it can help them sneak up close to their prey and improve their ability to survive.
As you can imagine, there is a lot of diversity in the animal kingdom when it comes to using camouflage. The type of camouflage needed depends on the type of animal, the prey that hunts them and the type of habitat they come from. This week we’re going to look at some of the clever ways animals stay hidden!
1. Color matching is one method of camouflage: This prevents the animal from standing out too much from the surrounding environment. Deers use this to blend into the trees around them. This makes it harder to see them when you’re just glancing out across the landscape. Check out the deer and other grazing animals as you drive through the park to see this in action!
2. Strips and other types of disruptive coloration: This is a way of visually breaking up their outline so that is harder to really know where the animal’s body starts and stops. Everything from insects to large mammals use this type of camouflage. This is why a tiger’s stripes make him hard to see!You can see this in person here at our park.
3. Mimicking and Mimesis: This is seen more in insects and reptiles. Mimicking refers to an animal that looks like something else. The Dead Leaf Butterfly looks like a dead leaf and that helps him stay hidden. Mimesis refers to an animal that looks like something their predators are not interested in, so that those that would hunt them are less likely to pay attention to them! Stick insects are a great example of this!
Here at the park you can challenge yourself to notice the different ways our animals have to camouflage themselves! Feel free to email or commen below on the different adaptations you’ve noticed!