Curiosity

The Curiosity of Animal Camouflage

Excited for the August 21 eclipse? Visit our Eclipse 2017 page to explore the science, history, and myths of the event. The Curiosity team will be viewing the eclipse alongside NASA in Carbondale, Illinois. Follow us on Facebook for live videos, trivia, and interviews on the big day.

There are plenty of sneaky animals and insects that can instantaneously camouflage themselves to blend in with their surroundings, effectively vanishing in seconds. Bugs resembling twigs and leaves, fish who disappear under ocean floor sand and predators who lie in wait for their unsuspecting prey are all among a special class of super secret creatures who demonstrate "deceptive coloration." Conversely, some animals like the bat-faced toad skillfully hide in plain sight as those looking for lunch glance right over. Chameleons are perhaps the most widely popular and misunderstood example of color-changing. Known in mainstream culture to have the ability to seamlessly imitate any and all patters, chameleons really only shift shades when in imminent danger of prowlers.

But how do these masters of disguise pull off such a rouse? How can you spot them? And what unique genetic advantages do they have to make them the secretive superstars they are today? These videos shine a light on the some of the world's most interesting creatures that don't want to be found.

Share the knowledge!

Share the knowledge!

Share the knowledge!

Key Facts In This Video

  1. The leafy sea dragon looks so much like floating plants that fish will take shelter beneath its fins. 00:25

  2. The orchid mantis looks almost exactly like flower petals, and its disguise attracts pollinators. 01:36

  3. Octopuses can change the color and texture of their skin to blend in with their environment. 02:27

If you liked this you'll love our podcast! Check it out on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, search 'curiosity' on your favorite podcast app or add the RSS Feed URL.

Advertisement