Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Or is it just a moth cleverly camouflaged as a leaf on the ground? If you’ve managed to spot the moth in the photo above, congratulations! You’ve just won a round of Mother Nature’s game of hide and seek.
But is it really all fun and games, like the hide and seek of our childhood days? For the animals living in the wild, how well they can camouflage themselves is really what draws the line between life and death.
Camouflage is what animals use to disguise their appearance by blending in with their surroundings. Different types of camouflage used by animals in nature include:
- Mimicry (when a non-venomous animal mimics the colour patterns of a venomous one);
- Disruptive colouration (when an animal disguises itself through colour patterns);
- Colour matching (when an animal matches its outer covering to their surroundings).
These camouflage tactics both allow predatory animals to sneak up and hunt their prey, as well as allow prey to avoid and safely escape predators.
The next time you’re on a walk with your family, try to keep a lookout for hidden animals and insects in your very own park or backyard.
Try to spot these cleverly camouflaged animals in the photos below!
If you are unable to head outdoors, you can complete the activity below with your child while staying indoors!
*All photos used are under the Creative Commons license of Flickr
Written by Fatin Afiqah Musa
Illustrations by Lee Ai Cing