Camouflage and Mimicry are adaptations some animals use as protection from predators.
If You Can't Run You've Got to Hide! This will test your predator skills of looking closely and finding something that is very well hidden! Find Waldo
Some insects and animals use camouflage as an effective way to protect themselves from natural enemies. An animal that uses camouflage looks like things in its environment. a leaf a twig a rock Camouflage
Find the Critter Can you find the frog?
Here I am.
Blend in with the Environment Trick your predators to overlook you. Can you find the Spider?
Change to Match the Season Many birds and mammals produce different colors of fur or feathers depending on the time of year. Arctic Fox in Summer Arctic Fox in Winter
Change to Match the Environment Many animals change when their environment changes. Cuttlefish
Mimicry Looking or sounding like a scary, bigger, poisonous, or bad tasting organism. Advantages: Don’t have to put the energy (food) into making poison, being bigger, etc. Provides opportunity for escape Provides opportunity for catching prey Disadvantages: Doesn’t always work. Types: Visual Auditory
Trick Them with Shape and Color The hawkmoth looks like a dead leaf, tattered and veined. Inchworm looks like a twig
Pretend to be something you’re not. This spider mimics bark with color and visual texture. This caterpillar mimics a bird dropping.
Trick Them! Play Dead! ↑ Hognose snake ← Opossum Many kinds of animals will play dead if they see no escape.
Startle Them with Sudden Eyes!
The ‘EYES’ have It Startling a predator may give you a chance for escape! This caterpillar looks and moves like a viper.
Pretend to be ferocious! A hornet fly has the markings of a hornet, but has no stinger. Predators who have had their mouths stung by a hornet do not try to eat hornets again, nor do they try to catch the hornet fly! Sometimes harmless insects look ferocious, frightening their enemies.
Warn Them! I Taste Bad! Poison dart frogs are both very toxic and have attitude This butterfly eloquently claims "I taste terrible!"
Fake Them Out: Pretend You Taste Bad Which is the Monarch? The tasty Viceroy butterfly on the left mimics the bitter Monarch on the right
Plants Mimic Insects! Plants use mimicy too, not just animals. Orchid use both shape and scent to attract pollinators. Many orchids mimic the shapes of certain flying insect females.
Pretend You Are a Flower Sundews offer balls of sweet, glue, then close around the prey This pitcher plant offers sweets on its landing lip, and fragrant water below. Notice the down-pointing hairs to keep flies in.