Can you find the owl in the above picture?
You can if you look very closely. The owl’s body is so similar to the trunk of the tree that it almost blends in the tree. A predator that is using vision to hunt will almost miss the owl. This method that allows animals, people or objects to stay hidden and blend into their environment is called camouflage. This allows prey to avoid predators, and for predators to sneak up on prey.
Look at this picture of rocks and stones. Can you spot a frog? With the body color that completely matches the rocks, the frog stays hidden. This frog is safe from its attackers as long as it does not move.
While some animals can stay still for a long time, some can’t. The ones that keep moving all the time have the ability to merge in the background by changing their color. For example, this stone flounder Kareius bicoloratus, becomes blends in when it is resting on the sand and becomes spotted when it sits on the ocean floor.
Animals with fur are often camouflaged by season. When the season changes these animals undergo color changes. For example, the Arctic Fox’s coat is brown in color, changes to white as the winter approaches.
This butterfly pretends to be a fierce owl when in trouble. The owl eyes shape on its wings gives it a chance to scare off the attacker.
Hognose snakes that are usually found in USA are entirely harmless. There is a misconception that they are venomous because they have a broad head. When threatened, the hognose snake tries to imitate a real cobra. When this trick fails it pretends to be dead. Smart huh!
Inspired by nature, humans also use camouflage but mostly for military purposes. The uniforms of soldiers, warships, troop carriers, air crafts are also designed to blend in the background.
Now imagine, if you had the power to camouflage, the power that you are around, but go unnoticed, what would you do with it?