Seven wonders of Camouflage
I am back with another wonder of nature, this is camouflage or colour changing ability of some species of invertebrates and vertebrates. This is a unique characteristic or rather a weapon which is some time used as a defense and sometime to catch prey. These creatures so perfectly blend with the surrounding that its very hard to spot them.
So, please have a look and enjoy!
a. Mimic Octopus
Mimic octopus: As the name suggest this is an expert to mimic other creatures. Normally it has brown and white stripes or spots. This octopus can contour its body and change its colour and also mimic the likeness and movements of more than fifteen different species including sea snakes, lionfish, flatfish, brittle stars, giant crab, sea shells, stingrays, jellyfish, sea anemones, and martis shrimps. Depending upon the predator it can decide which animal to impersonate, for example if it is attacked by a damselfish then octopus impersonate as a sea snake, (damselfish’s predator) by burying six of its arms and waving other two arms in opposite direction, and changing colour to black and yellow. Really a champion of disguise.
b. Cuttle Fish
Cuttlefishes are also known as chameleon of sea because of rapid changing ability.
a. Golden Tortoise Beetle
These beetles can change colour from golden to red. Instead of using pigment cells it changes its colour by altering the reflectivity of their shell, which is a remarkable feature of this tiny creature.
b. Golden rod crab spider
Depending on the flower on which it is hunting it can change its colour, but as it can change only in white and yellow so normally it hunts on white and yellow flowers like daisy and sunflower. Colour changing is induced by visual feedback.
3. Flounder fish
This is an ocean dwelling flat fish. They manage to blend so well with surroundings that it’s hard to locate them. A peculiar characteristic of this fish is that it has both the eyes on same side, which is an aid for the act of camouflage. A larval flounder has one eye on each side of the body, but as it grows one eye migrate to other side.
Peron’s tree frog can change its colour in less than an hour from grey, brown or even white. Due to its high pitched cackle it is also known as laughing tree frog.
Some Chameleons are expert in changing colour varying from pink, blue, red, orange, green, black, brown, yellow and turquoise.
Ptarmigan, also known as rock ptarmigan exhibits seasonal camouflage, it changes it’s colour from brown to white. In winter it’s white with black tail , and brown in spring and summer. It is a gamebird in grouse family. These birds prefer to live in barren and higher elevation areas.
Some mammals like Arctic fox, Arctic hare, Ermine exhibit seasonal camouflage, with the onset of winter their colour changes to white which remain for whole winter, after winter i.e. in spring and summer they have a different colour. This change help them in both ways, catching prey as well as protecting from predators.
a. Arctic fox
Arctic fox during spring/summer and winter
Arctic Hare during spring/summer and winter
Ermine in spring/summer and winter
d. Barren Ground Caribou
Barren Ground Caribou in spring/summer and winter