Whenever I see tanks driving or Army soldiers walking down the street I look at their camouflage jackets, hats and paint jobs wondering how on earth they manage to “blend in” with such oddly coloured paint schemes. But of course, they are wearing jungle Camouflage in an urban environment. A trained human can do a pretty good job of blending into their environment, but animals do it far better and in much more interesting ways. Here are ten facts about animals using camouflage as well as some funny pictures of cats trying to blend into their own environments…
FACT: Complete with fake leaf stalk, fake leaf veins, and perfect dead-leaf colouring, leaf butterflies camouflage their whole body!
FACT: In order to hide from their prey, gaboon vipers make the most of their brownish-grey, mottled scales. These big snakes hide in the layer of dead leaves that carpets the African rainforest floors.
FACT: The flower mantis of western Africa uses colourful, pistil-and-stamen-like camouflage to trick smaller insects into smelling the roses.
FACT: The ornate wobbegong is a shark whose body flattens out on the seafloor where its spots and blotchy lines resemble rock and coral.
FACT: Bark bugs hang out on trees around the world in order to hide in the middle of nature’s birdhouses and appear to be part of the tree itself.
FACT: Arctic owls have a coat of snow-white feathers to keep them warm and safe from predators, such as foxes and wolves.
FACT: There are hundreds of species of turtles and tortoises that use camouflage to blind-side their prey and hide from large predators like alligators.
FACT: By blending into the blindingly white snow of the Arctic with equally white fur coats, polar bears avoid much of the human danger.
FACT: Rabbits, young buffalo, and monkeys don’t stand a chance when a hidden leopard makes a surprise attack.
FACT: Contrary to popular belief, chameleons only change colour when in imminent danger. Their everyday skin colour is light khaki.